Road Trip To Houston and the J. Crew Ad

Tina and I went on a little road trip to Houston this week, which is why there were a huge cluster of posts on Monday night and a tapering off during the next three days.

The keyboard and touch pad on my Toshiba are a bit of a pain in the butt and it has the dreaded Vista, which isn’t my favorite OS from Microsnot.  That and we were plagued with a slow connect (but free) from the hotel where we stayed.

The only reason we have ever found to go to Houston is that it has some super great art museums and feeding your eyes great art is worth putting up with Houston air pollution and traffic.

Every time we go we are glad we picked Dallas over Houston when we decided to move to the sunbelt and lower housing costs.  On the other hand we love Austin as much as Dallas.

I used to take a lot more photographs when I was young and walked around instead of drove/rode around in cars. Life on foot is much more interesting and worthy of  photographing than life from behind a car window.

1960s VW Bus Photographed in parking lot of
Houston Museum of Fine Arts

We went to Houston for an exhibit titled “Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art“.  When I was in New York I spent a lot of time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I also took art classes at NYU and The Art Student League.  I really grew my appreciation for the work of both the Impressionists and the Abstract Expressionists.

This show had pictures by all of our favorite impressionist artist Manet, Monet, Cassatt etc…  Well worth the trip.

After that show we wandered through the permanent collection galleries where there were supporting pieces from the HMFA collection.

While we were in one of those galleries we saw a mother with two children, a girl and a boy. The boy was extremely pretty and very feminine in gesture and features.  As he did a little pirouette I whispered to Tina, “And they say it isn’t innate.”  For here was a child so obvious that the only question is, “Gay or trans?”

The whole premise of “Women Born Transsexual” and you can substitute other words from the queer alphabet around the core word of “born”, is that we are born this way.  Just like straights are born that way.  We aren’t perverted by outside forces unless you describe the damage from the abuse so many suffer as, perverting.  We aren’t failures of socialization but rather triumphant in our ability to gain the socialization that allows us to finally come out in the face of a hostile world.

Therefore I was heartened by the ad I saw from J. Crew…

From Growing Your Baby:

An online advertisement for ‘J Crew’ featuring a five-year-old boy with his toenails painted bright pink has sparked controversy in the parenting community.

The ad, which stars Jenna Lyons, the chain’s president and creative director, and her son Beckett, five, shows the doting mom painting her son’s toenails under the headline,

”Saturday with Jenna… See how she and son Beckett go off duty in style.’

Below the picture is a quote from Ms Lyons which reads:

‘Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”

The image was sent to customers last week by e-mail has sparked discussions over gender identity in children.

A number of psychiatrists have slammed the ad, claiming that promotion of such an image ‘celebrates transgendered identity’.

But Jenna, has hit back, saying:

”’Lots of kids, say seven and under, might ask their parents for something that would seem to be cross gender.

”I think most parents, especially in the privacy of their own home might think, what’s the big deal?’

I agree!  This ad shows a sweet moment between mom and son. Kids are curious, especially when they see their parents doing something. Does this mean that he will want his nails painted now for the rest of his life – no. It also doesn’t mean that she has set his masculine compass off by allowing him to wear pink nail polish.

The homophobic/misogynistic right wing right wing /Christo-Fascist noise machine is in a tizzy.  Heaven forbid a child be allowed to play with or adorn themselves in trappings designated as belonging to the ‘opposite’ sex/gender.

So much for Marlo Thomas and “Free to be, You and Me.”

Or the following poster.

There are a thousand reasons as to why I am so often opposed to the ideology of Transgender Inc, but the main one is its focus on and reification of “GENDER”.  Transgender Inc has been at war with transsexuals and post transsexuals who refuse to embrace its ideology since I was reading ‘zines like Transsexual News Telegraph and Gender Trash in the mid 1990s.

The name calling on both sides is stupid and boring.  I refuse to participate in it any more as there are real issues.  Apparently Riki Wilchins has decided there are more important issues as well, her new organization is called True Child and deals with a wide spectrum of gender issues rather than the narrow spectrum of transgender issues.

Zinnea Jones adds a great commentary to the tizzy surrounding this ad….

Those parents whose minds are not twisted by the hateful ideologies  of misogyny, homophobia and transphobia, that are the pillars of the dogma of the right wing religious fanatics are letting their LGBT/T kids grow up feeling positive about themselves.  Decent parents see that a child is different and protect, nurture, love and defend that child from the bullies be they children or adults who try to pervert that child with their hate, abuse and bigotry.

Sometimes with transkids that means seeking out early treatment and permitting that child to start the process of changing sex by giving them a nurturing environment where they can start living in the gender role that they feel most comfortable in.

Jamie to become a Janie as boy allowed hormone replacement therapy

From The Daily Telegraph (Aus):

April 16, 2011

A BOY, 10, has been allowed to begin hormone treatment to halt male puberty so he can live life as a girl.

The boy, named only as Jamie in a Family Court judgment, began identifying as female when he was a toddler, insisting on wearing girls’ clothes and refusing to use boys toilets when he started school.

His mother told the court she tried to encourage Jamie to act male but her son would become upset and say, “Mummy, it’s hard trying to be a boy.”

Jamie was diagnosed with gender identity disorder when he was seven. He began dressing as a girl at home and being treated as a girl by his family in 2008.

His parents moved him to a school that would accept him as a girl in 2009.

Continue reading at:

7yr. old Jazz’s thoughts on being a Transgender Child

I am not arguing that either the child we saw in the museum or the J. Crew ad is either a gay kid or transkid.  Rather I am arguing for a return to the greater freedom we had in the 1970s when the feminist struggle against misogyny and the gay/lesbian movements struggle against homophobia was given an equal or greater voice than the right wing voices of faith based hatred, bigotry and misogyny.

Children should be free, free to be you, free to be me…  All the hard core indoctrination into “proper” gender roles is bullshit.

Let kids be themselves.  It is no worse to be a person of the queer alphabet than it is to be a straight person if one is free from the hatred, bigotry and misogyny of the evil bigots.

One Response to “Road Trip To Houston and the J. Crew Ad”

  1. Maureen O'Danu Says:

    I really like this post. My youngest son is hetero, but “gender flexible” (not quite transgender, but perfectly okay with being mis-identified). He describes himself as “metrosexual”. Junior High has been utter hell for him, with the rigid gender roles and expectations, and he’s been on both the giving and receiving end of bullying (his philosophy: If you come at him with a club, he lights it on fire and hits back).

    Jazz up above is a very lucky young lady to have parents who have supported her to the point that she is matter of fact and happy about being different. I wish more children were as lucky.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: