When I was a kid, I had a very close relationship with a female cousin of mine.  She was like my sister and best friend all rolled up into one.  We were a year apart in age and when together, we could stir up a mighty ruckus.  Mostly, I remember us laughing.

 

And we laughed about weird sh*t.  And we played really insane, made up, games.

 

There was a game that we played that I’ll call, “What have I done?”  It consisted of my cousin and I running around her parents bedroom and their queen-sized bed.  We’d chase one another and when one person would get “caught” the other kid would mock attack them.  After a few minutes, the kid being attacked would play dead.  Then the “attacker” would cry and wail over the “corpse” of the dead kid screaming, “What have I done?  What have I done?”  The more emotion and melodrama you could pour into it, the better.  At one point, the kid playing dead would “pop up” from the dead and scream, “THIS IS WHAT YOU’VE DONE!” and start mock choking the other kid.  And then we would laugh and laugh and laugh.  We laughed until we cried.  Thirty plus years later, neither of us are serial killers and both of us are productive members of society.

 

I think part of the joy of the game was the element of surprise.  The person feigning grief never knew when the other one was going to “pop up.”  The back-from-the-dead person always did their best to scare the ever living sh*t out of the other kid.  It was the surprise and the not knowing mixed with little kids trying out adult emotions that made the game so appealing.

 

I think we played this game for hours.  It was bizarre and yet, endlessly entertaining.

 

I remember a second story, even earlier than that, all the way back in pre-school.  I was supposed to bring in something for “show and tell,” but for some reason I never got it together.  So, on the way to pre-school, I found a rubber-band in the back of the car.  I twisted it and twisted it around my wrist.  When it was my turn to “show and tell” I walked up to the front of the class and showed how the tighter you twisted the rubber-band, the more it would cut off your circulation causing your wrist to run a variety of colors like a mood ring.  My kid brain thought, “how cool.”  My adult teachers thought, “We need to talk to this kid’s parents.”

 

I think weirdness in kids is great as long as it’s not hurting anyone and especially if its deeply invested in cultivating the kid’s imagination.

 

As such, I wasn’t so bothered when the photo of the kindergarten boy who wore the pink shoes to school went viral.  To me, it wasn’t, “Oh, he’s such a young, gay boy” – although he very well might be.  It was more, “Oh, that’s just a weird kid being a weird kid.”  He’ll probably grow up and become a ladies’ man and the chief editor of an art magazine.  Really, none of us can tell that far in advance.

 

kid who wore pink shoes to school

This does not necessarily lead to…

 

straight man in drag

…this.

 

Still, I think with a 5 year old, it’s no ‘cause for alarm whether he becomes the next Walt Disney or a featured player in the Crying Game 2, truly, it may have nothing to do with those shoes.

 

A lot of the backlash to the picture had to do with the parents allowing it.  Many commenters felt that the parents were just setting up their child for bullying by allowing him to wear such a clearly defined pair of girl’s shoes.

 

I don’t know if this is true or not.  All I know is that we have gone off of our rockers in regards to male sexuality.  The boundaries on what a man can or can not do, or wear or not wear, or talk like or not talk like, or walk like or not walk like – are, in my opinion, far too strict.

 

I have a joke in my act where I talk about a straight male friend of mine coming up to me  (wearing a regular button down shirt, btw) and asking, “Does this shirt make me look gay?”  To which I reply, “I don’t know does it come with a c*ck in your mouth?”  Because to me, that’s the only real thing that counts on the gay/ not gay scale.

 

Everything else is just expression and experimentation.  All of those things are just human.

 

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Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish on the quest to 365 consecutive posts.  You can follow this blog by clicking the “follow” button at the top of the page.

 

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Photo creds:

feature-boys, drag-man, pink-shoe-boy

 

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