TODAY   |  September 07, 2013

Mom writes book inspired by gender nonconforming child

For a mom and her husband, there were no guidebooks on how to deal with gender nonconforming kids, so they wrote one inspired by their experience with their own child. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> when one california family's young son started playing with dolls and dressing in girl clothes, there were no guide books. his parents decided to take matters into their own hands. there was a book called "raising my rainbow." mike has the story.

>> as we cook dinner, he sketched a girl with long red hair , a blue dress , red shoes , a purple tiara, full pink lips. i don't have to ask who the girl in the picture is, i would recognize him anywhere.

>> reporter: the california mom is talking about her son we'll call c.j., a 6-year-old with his older brother chase, enjoys all the usual kid stuff and also this.

>> which one do you want to wear first?

>> reporter: c.j. is genter nonconforming, choosing girl clothes and colors and toys ever since the day he discovered his first doll.

>> there was a barbie in her closet. i found it and liked it.

>> reporter: then it was life after barbie. a whole family's dynamic changed.

>> it's a different thing when you realize your son is really into all things girls.

>> reporter: what about the ongoing debate about nature versus nurture ?

>> our boys, we are raising them with the same parents, the same environment and getting really, really different results.

>> reporter: as parents, they said they follow c.j.s lead. knowing when showing his girl side is a risk and how to answer anyone who questions him.

>> he will say i'm gender nonconforming or he'll say this is my style. not everyone in the world has the same style.

>> reporter: what about critics who question whether his style is feminine because his mom cried when her second child was another son.

>> i wanted a girl. i wanted the opportunity to mother a daughter, but not enough so that i would try to turn a son into a daughter.

>> reporter: she started an anonymous blog about raising c.j., she was shocked.

>> it was weird to realize this is a global parenting issue.

>> reporter: an issue for all parents looking for a way to love their children, no matter what.

>> my children are not going to be bullied in their own house. it's not a choice for us. we are letting our child be who he was born to be.

>> reporter: a child like c.j. who embraced his nature.

>> some people can be different. some don't have to.

>> reporter: safe and supportive as so many similar children are not. for "today," mike taibbi , mission vee yea hoe, california .