Raising my Rainbow & Stuck in the Middle with You: A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders text by Laura Albert

C.J. may be the most famous seven-year-old that no one has ever met.

People have not seen his face or heard his full name, but they know

C.J. He is the subject of his mother’s blog raisingmyrainbow.com, a

real-time memoir of parenting a child who is gender-nonconforming: “a

boy who likes girl stuff and wants to be treated like a girl,” as C.J.

puts it. Lori Duron has chosen to celebrate her young son while

preserving his anonymity, and nobody in cyberspace walks that

tightrope better than she does. Launched at the end of 2010,

raisingmyrainbow.com today has a readership over two million strong,

from 173 countries around the planet. But Duron’s new book, Raising My

Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous Gender Creative Son,

released by Broadway Books, is no blog rehash. Very little online

material has been recycled into this thoughtful and loving account of

how raising and loving C.J. has affected their family.



Like the photographer Lindsay Morris

(http://lindsaymorris.viewbook.com/you-are-you) — whose poignant

photographs of gender-nonconforming boys, You Are You, will be

published later this year — Duron brings normalcy and humanity to a

subject that is still too frequently pathologized. Describing her

initial fears over C.J.’s love of girl stuff, Duron quotes her mother

asking, “What are you so afraid of?” Her honest answer was, “I’m

afraid that he’ll get teased. I’m afraid that we’ll get teased. I’m

afraid of what other people will think and say.” And of course knowing

the truth sets you free — Duron adds, “It felt like a relief to

pinpoint my feelings and concerns and to say them out loud. Then it

pissed me off royally, because I have never been one to care what

other people think.”



Refusing to assimilate the limited thinking of others — a survival

mechanism for LGBT folks and their allies — also characterizes author

and trans activist Jennifer Finney Boylan. The first transgender

person to serve as GLAAD’s national co-chair, she is also a respected

writer of fiction and non-fiction, whose bibliography includes three

volumes of memoirs: I’m Looking Through You, She’s Not There, and her

newest book, Stuck in the Middle with You, published by Crown.

Subtitled “A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders,” its three main

sections are “Daddy,” “Maddy,” and “Mommy,” describing life with her

wife and two sons before, during, and after her transition — a

transformative experience for them all, with Boylan and her wife now

“two women, not lesbians, legally married to each other.”



Stuck in the Middle with You also incorporates a range of interviews,

including such literary notables as Edward Albee, Augusten Burroughs,

and Anna Quindlen, to discuss family, love, and gender with Boylan.

Her conversation with Albee yields unexpected insights, prompting

Boylan to reflect that, as a parent, “Perhaps what’s more important

than us being male or female is the fact that we’re human.” When you

become unstuck in your gender, your own humanity is thrown into

relief, for better or worse. And that same spotlight hits the people

around you too.

Over the course of her memoir, as Boylan’s parenting role mutates

along with her gender role, she re-examines her relationship with her

own parents. The book offers a moving account of her mother’s final

days at age 94, when the woman thinks her grandson is her

pre-transition son, and her actual son, now Jennifer, is her sister

Gertrude, to whom she speaks in German. And of course Boylan responds

the way Gertrude would. As everyone in her family knows, when you love

someone, you have to be willing to go to some pretty unusual places.



Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous Gender Creative Son





Stuck in the Middle with You




Laura Albert (lauraalbert.org) wrote the internationally best-selling

novels Sarah, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, and Harold’s

End as “JT LeRoy.” Her speaking engagements include NPR’s

story-telling series The Moth, Radiolab, Foyles bookstore in London,

and Brazil’s international Book Bienal. Laura was a writer for the HBO

series Deadwood and wrote the original script of Gus Van Sant’s

Elephant; she was also Associate Producer of Elephant and Asia

Argento’s film of The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.


Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.