LGBTQ parents & daughters in pink, frilly dresses

As progressive LGBTQ people, we know the importance of breaking
down gender stereotypes. We know that anyone, regardless of gender,
should be able to be a pilot, a police officer or a nurse. We
address our representatives in congress as congresspeople, not as
congressmen. We cringe at the use of words like ma’am and sir and
refuse to include them in our vocabulary.

Why, then, do so many of us insist in dressing our daughters in
pink dresses, frills and yards of lace? Why do so many of us insist
on painting our son’s room blue and our daughter’s room pink? Why
do so many LGBTQ parents cart their daughters off to ballet while
their sons enroll in soccer and little league? Simply, why does
everything we’ve learned about gender fly out the window when it
comes to our children?

Sure, it’s not everyone. I know some fantastic LGBTQ parents that
are truly doing their best to raise their children in
gender-neutral environments. In fact, one lesbian couple that I
know didn’t hesitate to buy a doll house and Barbies for their
five-year old son, as that’s what he wanted for Christmas. But a
great many LGBTQ parents insist on raising their children in a very
gendered world.

Why? I have a guess. The ability of LGBTQ parents is always being
second guessed by mainstream America, court rooms and legislatures
around the country. Sure, we know that the research says we are
just as good a parent as anyone else, but that doesn’t mean people
aren’t going to scrutinize our ability to parent.

If two male partners are shopping in a toy store with their son,
and the child expresses interest in a doll, what do they do? What
will the cashier think when two gay men are buying dolls for their
son? Perhaps the cashier will think the myth is true: gay parents
raise gay children.

I think we’re hypersensitive to the perceived scrutiny that we
face, and thus, many of us go out of our way to raise “normal”
children. Unfortunately, raising “normal” children involves
sacrificing everything that we’ve learned about fighting gender