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2.08.2012

You can't have it both ways

As both my readers know, Kit decided he was a self professed gay boy last spring. It worked for him at the time because he can be outrageous in his clothing choices and has serious sexual identity issues that he simply can't hide. It also worked for him because it got lots of attention.

Well, that last bit seems to have cooled off some this year and he's not so happy. As parents we're thrilled to know that he has been accepted by his school peers as he is: skinny jeans, pierced ear, bracelets, teen mags, handbag and all. But he isn't.

He likes to create "dramma", as he spells it, and just being 'out there' isn't enough anymore. So he's raised the stakes by getting upset when someone reacts to his flamboyant behavior. He'll take exception to being called gay and teased for liking boys even though he dresses like, runs like, behaves like, and prefers the company of, girls and wears a bracelet that says "I-heart-boys" for all to see.

"Sorry, Kit,"I say, "if you say you're going to wear a band that says you like boys, you can't get insulted if someone says you like boys. That's like swearing that you like chocolate and getting angry when someone says you like chocolate. Either you like boys or you don't. If you do, own it. Tell them you don't care. If you do care, then stop wearing the blaring bracelet that says you do like it. You can't play both sides."

He believes he can. He tells me he doesn't like boys. But if I say I'll take the bracelet away it reduces him to tears - not an easy thing to do with him. So I tell him if he insists on wearing it to stand up and say "yeah, this is who I am! What of it?" he won't do that, either.

Unfortunately, this isn't just a bullied kid with an identity crisis. He's doing half the bullying. He lets it get under his skin and then gives back as good as he gets, or even initiates trouble. The school is not happy. We're not happy. He's not happy.

So how to resolve this? Someone has to take a firm stand and that gets to be me. I told him last night, "You are either going to start letting these responses roll off your back by saying 'so what' and walking away from trouble or I am dressing you in nothing sloppy jeans, boxers, and skater shirts so no one can tell you apart from every other boy in that school and you can kiss your girl attitude goodbye."

I guess it's his move.