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.)
Praise for Lori Duron’s Raising My Rainbow
"Heartwarming, though wrenching…what makes Raising My Rainbow fresh and enjoyable is Duron’s utter lack of pretension.”
—New York Times Book Review
“A powerful book at the right time.”
—Andy Cohen, author of Most Talkative
“Lori Duron, a writer of extraordinary generosity, has given us a guide to parenthood both gentle and revolutionary. Raising My Rainbow is a valuable resource not only for parents of gender-nonconforming children, but for readers everywhere who seek the courage to stand up for the ones they love. Fierce, wise, and illuminating.”
—Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There and Stuck in the Middle with You.
“Because of Lori's courage, there is now an answer when searching how to parent a child who is gender fluid, gender non-conforming, transgender, gay or whatever label you use. This book is a wonderfully authentic read that will bring depth, joy and understanding to parents, extended families and anyone seeking to learn how parents can and do love gender creative children. To acceptance!”
—Cheryl Kilodavis, author of My Princess Boy
"[S]mart and witty...first-of-its kind...a frank, funny, feminist book."
“[A]n optimistic and delightful memoir… 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.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A heartfelt examination of raising a boy who wants to be a girl.”
“It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a gender creative parent to create a gender creative child. Lori Duron is just one of those parents, and Raising My Rainbow is a must-read for the entire village. Beautifully written, humorous, and deeply open and self-reflective, this book, the first of its kind, gives us a window into a mother’s joys, pain, and courage raising a child who goes against the binary gender grain of our society. This is not only an outstanding book, it is a big step forward in making it a better world for all of us.
—Diane Ehrensaft, Author of Gender Born, Gender Made
"First drawn to Lori's work as an educator and LGBT activist, it was my role as a father that provided the most poignant critical lens for Raising My Rainbow. While nobody has a blueprint for parenting, Lori's compassionate, insightful, and yes, humorous take of raising a "gender creative" child should be required reading for anyone bringing up or working with children."
—Frank Bua, author of Lost and Found, and Board Member, Family Equality Council
“I fell in love with this. Lori Duron has written a very important book, and as an author she is extremely generous in sharing the story of her family and in particular her own journey which made her realize that her job regarding her son is to ‘not change him but to love him’. Duron and her husband and oldest son beautifully rise to every challenge C.J.'s gender creativity presents to them. As a reader, I felt privileged to witness their journey.”
—Lesléa Newman, author The Boy Who Cried Fabulous, Heather Has Two Mommies, and October Mourning
“Lori Duron has painted an exquisite picture of the complex journey that is raising a gender diverse child. In chronicling her family’s transformation from confusion, to fear, to acceptance and ultimately fierce pride, she has provided an unwavering celebration of her child's gender self-determination. Not just a book for families with gender nonconforming children, Raising My Rainbow is wonderful resource for all parents committed to honoring children for who they are.”
—Joel Baum, Director, Education and Training, Gender Spectrum TM
“Laugh-out-loud funny, tug-at-the-heartstrings moving, and thoroughly thought provoking, Raising My Rainbow is a must-read for anyone who has ever worried that their child—or a child that they know—might be perceived as ‘different from’ or ‘other than.’”
—Jody M. Huckaby, Executive Director, PFLAG National
A memoir about raising a gender-creative child. Like most parents, Duron and her husband had certain expectations about who their sons would grow up to be, but when their younger son, C.J., discovered and fell in love with Barbie, they had to slowly begin changing their ideas. C.J. liked dolls, his favorite colors were pink and purple, and he enjoyed dressing up in girls' clothes--all atypical behaviors for a 3-year-old male. Having grown up with a brother who is homosexual, Duron was on the lookout for potentially gay behavior in C.J. It was only as C.J. continued to cross-dress and then announced one day to his father that when he grew up, he was going to be a girl, that Duron realized she might have a gender-nonconforming child. The author honestly and humorously expresses the delight and dismay her family lived through as they watched and adjusted to the increasingly interesting and sometimes very awkward moments of life with C.J. Like all good parents, Duron and her husband didn't squelch C.J's desires but encouraged him to become who he was meant to be, allowing him to have princess-themed birthday parties and "girl" toys from Santa Claus while ignoring the looks and comments of neighbors and the parents of classroom friends. As the first few years passed and C.J.'s behavior continued on the gender-nonconforming spectrum, Duron searched for information on how to safely raise an LGBTQ child. When she couldn't find as much help as she needed, she decided to blog about her experiences in order to connect with and help others in this same situation. Many decisions still lie ahead--for example, hormone therapy and/or surgery for C.J., as well as the need to address the bullying both sons have received--and the author tackles these issues head-on with intelligence and compassion. A heartfelt examination of raising a boy who wants to be a girl.