When my child was four years old, “he” chose to creatively express “himself” via a performance piece critical of certain cishetero-patriarchial notions regarding the construct of “gender”.
I watched with pride as my preschooler defied social convention to build both the parent and spud Potatoheads according to “his” idealized vision of what the modern American family should represent.
I did not realize my failings until later.
No, I did not explain to “him” that this meant “he” was no longer a boy.
No, I did not put “him” on hormones.
No, I did not explain to “him” the Strict Mystery that is gender — that gender doesn’t exist and yet there are literally thousands of them listed on Tumblr.
Instead, I took a picture, captioned it, and shared it on social media.
Parents, do not make the same mistake with your own children. (Nor with your wives’ boyfriends’ children.) Because of my failure to recognize this for what it was — an unconscious cry for help — there is now one more cishetero white male in the world than there otherwise would have been.
To all the POCs “my” son will grow up to oppress: I am so, so sorry.