(NEW YORK) — A California father-son duo are shattering gender stereotypes, one makeover at a time.
Matt and Lori Duron go above and beyond to support their 9-year-old son C.J.’s self-described “gender-creative” identity. The parents have been chronicling their journey of raising a gender-nonconforming son on their blog, “Raising My Rainbow,” and in a recent post titled “Real Dads Let Their Sons Do Their Makeup,” Matt explains why he allows C.J. to give him a makeover whenever he asks.
“A couple of years ago, C.J. asked if I would allow him to do my makeup. Of course I said yes. Why wouldn’t I,” Matt wrote. “Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of something that brings joy to my son’s life?”
Matt, 39, explained that for him, it’s the father-son bonding part of the makeup sessions that matters the most.
“My son doing my makeup is the same as a dad throwing a football with his son,” Matt continued. “It’s not about what you are doing together; it’s about doing it together.”
Lori, 38, told ABC News that while she writes a majority of the posts on the website, she felt that it was important for Matt to share his story on the blog because Matt, who she refers to as a “guy’s guy,” gets out of his comfort zone in order to support their son.
“This is all about C.J. — not about us,” Lori said.
Lori explained that when she and Matt first noticed C.J.’s preference for dresses and makeup, they originally thought that their youngest son might be gay. However, C.J. made it clear to his parents that he was dealing with a gender issue, not a sexuality issue.
Lori began writing her blog in 2011 in an effort to engage with the gender-nonconforming community and share her family’s story as well.
“We were looking for other families to connect to because we were trying to figure out how to deal with C.J., and so I started [my blog] to be the thing that I was looking for,” Lori said.
Lori noted that while she and her husband support C.J.’s gender-creative identity, the biggest challenge that they’ve faced comes from parents and other adults who don’t understand.
“Kids kind of just accept it, ask a question or two or move on once they have an answer, but adults can be really tough to deal with,” Lori said. “They have these beliefs and views that interfere with accepting C.J. as being gender nonconforming.”
Lori noted that through writing her blog and her book of the same name, she’s found a way to make a difference in the gender-creative community and is excited to continue sharing her family’s journey.
“I used to say that I was reluctant advocate but now I’ve removed the word reluctant,” Lori said. “Now I feel like I have a purpose.”
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