Synopses & Reviews
"In her first book, Duron comes out of the 'mommy blog' closet with an optimistic and delightful memoir of her family's process of understanding, supporting, and celebrating their gender-creative son, C.J., who prefers Barbies to trucks and princesses to pirates. The story of the phenomenal growth that this mother exhibits as she tries to do what she thinks is best steering C.J. toward gender-neutral toys, navigating ever-changing rules about what is okay for him to wear in public is humorous and light, even when the issues involved are heavy. Duron employs a range of resources as she tries to understand her son and how best to parent him, including speaking to her gay brother and his transgendered friend, finding LGBTQ resources on the Internet, and discovering peers when she begins publishing a blog about C.J. (RaisingMyRainbow.com). In Duron's story, parents will find support for a 'love them, not change them' style of parenting, optimism about the outcomes for their gender-creative children, sympathy for the difficulties of parenting, and an affirmation of the appropriateness and necessity for fierce advocacy. Duron's call for compassion should be heeded by educators, caregivers, and neighbors an open heart, a desire to listen and learn, and a willingness to accommodate go a long way in doing well by someone who differs from your expectations. Agent: Kari Stuart, ICM Partners. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
LORI DURON is the mother of two and lives with her husband and children in Orange County, CA. Duron's blog, RaisingMyRainbow.com is the first "Mommy Blog" to chronicle raising a gender creative child, and has had more than one million readers in nearly 180 countries. She and her blog have earned the attention of a variety of media outlets including: Anderson Cooper, the BBC, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Next Family, Bitch Magazine, Newsweek, BlogHer, The Mother Company, OC Weekly, Gawker, Babble, and Jezebel. She has been named one of BlogHer's 2011 Voices of the Year and is one of Ignite Social Media's "100 Women Bloggers You Should be Reading."
Reading Group Guide
Raising My Rainbow
is Lori Duron’s frank, heartfelt, and brutally funny account of her and her family's adventures of distress and happiness raising a gender-creative son. Whereas her older son, Chase, is a Lego-loving, sports-playing boy's boy, her younger son, C.J., would much rather twirl around in a pink sparkly tutu, with a Disney Princess in each hand while singing Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi."
C.J. is gender variant or gender nonconforming, whichever you prefer. Whatever the term, Lori has a boy who likes girl stuff—really likes girl stuff. He floats on the gender-variation spectrum from super-macho-masculine on the left all the way to super-girly-feminine on the right. He's not all pink and not all blue. He's a muddled mess or a rainbow creation. Lori and her family choose to see the rainbow.
Written in Lori's uniquely witty and warm voice and launched by her incredibly popular blog of the same name, Raising My Rainbow is the unforgettable story of her wonderful family as they navigate the often challenging but never dull privilege of raising a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son.
Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content
1. When did you fi rst learn the distinct differences between sex, gender, and sexuality? What prompted you to need to know the differences?
2. Do you believe that a child’s gender expression and sexuality are more nature or nurture?
3. Why is effeminacy in males so often deemed a weakness? Why is masculinity in females so often seen as a strength?
4. If you had a daughter, would you allow her to wear a sports jersey to school? If you had a son, would you allow him to wear a dress to school? Why or why not? If your answers differ, why is there a double standard?
5. Can you parent to the best of your ability when you are concerned about what other people will think or say?
6. What role does community/society play in how we raise our children and our want for them to conform? Why do we want them to conform? So that other people won’t talk/think/judge? To save them from harassment and bullying? Is forcing a child to conform really protecting him or her?
7. If your child is going to be LGBTQ, would you want to know when he or she is three? Six? Ten? Thirteen? Sixteen? Twenty? Twenty-three? When is the “right age”?
8. Do you think it is possible for an LGBTQ child to never have to “come out,” to be just as open about being gay as most kids are about being straight?
9. If someone said that when your children are in the room you should always conduct yourself as if an LGBTQ person is in the room to be safe because you never know your children’s future sexuality or gender, how would that make you feel?
10. If someone you knew had a child who was LGBTQ, would you feel bad for them? Happy for them? Jealous of them? Why?
11. Are you teaching your child about empathy just as much as you teach him or her other life lessons and skills? If your child saw a boy wearing a skirt out in public, what would he or she say? Is there anything that you can do now to prepare them for something like this?
12. How would members of your family react if your child was LGBTQ? Are there some members who would be better about it than others? What would you do if there were members of your family who were not supportive of your child?
13. What role do you think religion plays in society’s enforcement of gender and sexuality norms?
14. If during a routine ultrasound it could be discovered that a baby was LGBTQ, do you think parents would want to know? What would be the benefits of knowing? What would be the drawbacks? How could parents react wonderfully to knowing? How could parents react horribly?
15. On the gender spectrum of masculine all the way to the left and feminine all the way to the right, where do you think you fall? Is it the same every day? Every week? Every month? Every year? Have you ever played with gender presentation? How did it feel?