Sara Whitman

Sticks, Stones and Dead Boys Bones

Filed By Sara Whitman | February 18, 2008 8:02 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Blossom, gender identity, guns, kids, LGBT youth, Powder Puff Girls, safe spaces, schools, teens, violence

I love Ben's videos. This one is a little long, but if you hang on, Jake comes in the background and annoys him- welcome to my world.


iPhone users: Click to watch

And it is the reason why I am so afraid for him. After hearing about the boy who hung himself, Jeanine turned to me, looked at Ben and said, Well... we're doing okay, aren't we?

After he taped the video, he came running downstairs with lipstick and asked me to put it on.

No, thank you. Once a year, that's it for me.

C'mon, Mom, just put some on...

I couldn't write about Lawrence King's murder until yesterday. I still can't really touch on my own fears for my son.

blossom1.jpgWhen Ben was in pre-school, he wanted to dress up as Blossom for Halloween. Blossom was the head Power Puff girl. He loved her. I bought the costume.

Then I sat him down and said, Some people might not understand why a boy would want to be Blossom.

He didn't care. Blossom was his favorite character.

I remember shrugging and saying, I think you look great. But, I want you to know, someone might tease you about it.

Blossom was one tough chick.

He doesn't dress in pink anymore, or wear heels or make up, like Lawrence King. His budding sexuality is being expressed towards girls, for the time being.

And he is constantly anxious.

I don't have to tell him it's not safe. He knows.

He also loves posting on YouTube. He is a ham, at heart and incredibly creative. He has always been too afraid to join a theater club, but has a new outlet for his desire to be a star.

His friends have his address.

All I can say is it was a lot easier to walk him around as Blossom on Halloween night, armed with a firm look to all the people who opened the door to my boy dressed in pink.

Sticks and stones
may break my bones
but words will never hurt me

Unfortunately, now kids are carrying guns.

And we're left to bury the dead boys bones.


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I thought that was one of the cutest damn videos ever. I've played it like three times now. I love the head shake where it goes blurry... And Jake adds to the show!

One year when I was little I got in trouble for wrapping duct tape around my wrists, tying a pillow case to my neck, putting on my sister's panties and running around in the front yard twirling like crazy. I was playing Wonder Woman. My mom would rather I get in the invisible jet so the neighbors didn't see me. LOL

Thank the goddes we have the TYFA, and good competent child development specialists who are trans specialist as well. This is such a serious issue. ie grammer school, junior high, puberty and then high school. And the kids transitioning to certain degrees at the biologically appropriate time for health reasons. That little boy has been on my mind..his mom like a girls mom may have been thinking naw u are ten and felt her TS dtr was too young to wear make up .simple as that..BUT we know to kids something like that seems the end of the world..She must be devastated..ie if she had only said ..no make up to school YET and yes u probably need to wear pants BUT THE MINUTE you get home you change your clothes. OUR children have to cope with this world. In junior high puberty starts THEY REALLY are in a world of commotion. BUT they know who they ARE. WE KNOW WHO THEY ARE. But they need their hormones for health..By High school there are civics classes and its really time to have the lgbT/straight alliances and if there is no dress code in the schools..Gender varient kids have to be able to wear their clothing or ELSE THEY CANNOT LEARN !! its that dysphoric. Family education is critical. Growing up is trecherous enough without the added burden of GID. I see the markers in your son..his hands. And i am sure that with parents such as yourself - Ze will be OK.

But so many others out there...so many parents so many school boards. We need our child development specialists and advocates NOW more then ever.

Thank you for this POST.

Wow, I loved the video. I think it is great he can express who he is. I hid all my young life, scared of who I might be and who I turned out to be. Not having any resources telling me I was okay. (product of right wing evangelical parents)

It still makes me sick to my stomach that a student gets shot for being who he is ..it is that simple. To think this is happening in Southern California even make me feel like we have gotten nowhere. Since this has happened it has made me think if I were to be as brave as this young boy when I was his age...I don't think I would have survived. This has even got me to think more why we as adults need to be more open to who we are. The more people see us maybe the more immuned they will become.

Thanks for sharing this with us, Sara. It takes a lot to really share these fears.

And I loved the video. I think Ben is great!

I have to say, Sara, that this post reminds me, in so many ways, why I'm so glad to be an advocate for family issues in the queer community (and beyond).

The relevance you give to a video of your kids rocking out to "Lip Gloss" in the wake of the Lawrence King shooting takes guts, brains and skill. We're all the better for having you out there, doing what you do.

Aside from the relevance, it is often the pure joy kids bring into the world just being who they are that makes the work I personally do so satisfying.

Occasionally at Family Equality Council events I have to "babysit" kids as part of my official duties. Sometimes that involves taking care of just one or two little kids who can't handle being separated from their parent(s). This, apparently, is a specialty of mine, and is why there are numerous photos of me partaking in what we like to call, "napping for equality." I've hard more days in which "napping for equality" renewed my activist spirit than days in which a legislative victory did.

Thanks for sharing!