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Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son
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Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,821 ratings  ·  302 reviews
Raising My Rainbow is Lori Duron’s frank, heartfelt, and brutally funny account of her and her family's adventures of distress and happiness raising a gender-creative son. Whereas her older son, Chase, is a Lego-loving, sports-playing boy's boy, her younger son, C.J., would much rather twirl around in a pink sparkly tutu, with a Disney Princess in each hand while singing L ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  1,821 ratings  ·  302 reviews

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Justin Tate
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Incredible! Lori's writing is brisk and witty, making it thoroughly entertaining as she describes her parenting decisions while raising a gender-bending young boy who enjoys playing with "girl" toys and wearing "girl" clothes.

Is CJ gay? Transgendered? Is it even fair to think about the sexuality of a three-year-old? Does he just like 'girl' stuff?

This book does a great job of showcasing the real life journey of being a parent. We, as readers, desperately want her to find the answers to these que
Jessica Woodbury
I have lots to say about this book and it's best I say it all now so I don't forget, even if I'll eventually repost it elsewhere.

First off: I am glad this book exists. I doubt there are many books out there like it. We need people to share their experiences when you feel like you have a one-of-a-kind situation because there are always other people out there going through the same thing. So I'm glad this book is here. It needs to be here.

That said, I wish this book was more than it is.

* N aka
May 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I think I’m just not cut out to read books by people who view gender fluidity or (potential, perceived) homosexuality in their kids as an obstacle. As though it’s a cross to bear.

Let me start by saying that I only know what it’s like to walk in my own shoes and parent my own kids. I wouldn’t want to judge the author Lori Duron as though I know what her life feels like. We’re all doing the best we can as parents, and it’s clear she loves her kids and works hard to be supportive.

Having read a cou
Nov 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
I'd like to begin this by saying that I was a child who didn't play with gender appropriate toys. I was a girl who really, really hated girl toys. I HATED Barbie, all other dolls, had no interest in playing dress up or in hair and makeup. I did not really like or relate to other girls. Most of my friends were boys, I played with stuffed animals, Hot wheels cars, toy animals and in later years He-Man, Thundercats and Voltron. I played whiffleball and a local thing we called wall ball and I wanted ...more
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have always been curious about how folks discover and then adapt to some kind of specialness in their children—and admit to a real fascination with a child such as Duron’s CJ. At age 2-1/2, CJ exhibits such delight in Duron’s boxed 25th-anniversary Barbie that she opens it and…it was the toy he’d always wanted.

Duron’s first-born son, Chase, was all boy. CJ, her second-born son, had a strong affinity for girls, and girl things. Duron and her husband were surprised and not entirely thrilled at
Sep 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting, lgbtq
It took me a while to put my finger on what exactly felt "off" about this book. The writer, Lori Duron, is a woman very much like me, a mother of two sons, one of whom is gender non-conforming (though in my case, my gender non-conforming boy has a twin sister to make things even more interesting). The way she approaches her son's situation with positivity, acceptance, and curiosity about the broader issues is generally good, and not all that different from the way I've done things for my own fam ...more
Mallory Kellogg
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

From the moment I read this book's title and saw those awesome pink laces, I had to read it. I wanted to know her story. And I was not disappointed. This book was terrific-tabulous! I can't say enough good about it.

So this woman has a son named C.J. who is "gender nonconforming", which simply means he's a boy that likes girl things and rejects boy things. He loves the Disney Princesses, especially Rapunzel. His favorite color is
Rachel Woodruff
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Lori Duron is a good writer I will give her that much credit. However the notion that a 2 year old knows that they are a girl or that a two year old boy is "gender nonconforming" is a bit much for me to swallow. Add that to the times when she openly writes some questionable stuff about her son and namely when she writes that if her son liked boy toys and acted like a boy she would be lost and she would lose her identity and my theory that she is forcing her son into this role because of the atte ...more
disney rainbow photo: Disney rainbow walt_disney_in_rainbow_by_melyssah6-d3j9j7u.jpg

One of the most amazing, inspiring, touching, heartbreaking, nerve wracking, question-everything-you-thought-you-knew, heartwarming, soul-shattering, applaudable, hopeful, gets-you-where-it-counts books I have EVER read. I feel like this book should be a necessary read for EVERYONE, but I am willing to narrow it down to all parents, grandparents, aunts, foster parents, friendly (or not so friendly) neighbors, or anyone that has any connections with children, therapists, case workers, gender
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
"It's not about me; it's about him. Mostly."

If that quote doesn't sum up the book, then I don't know what does.

2.5 stars, but y'all know I tend to round down.
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
I think Lori and Matt Duron are great parents, they are thoughtfully figuring out how to deal with an unusual and challenging situation and are brave enough to share their experiences.

When their younger son first displays his preference for pretty, pink things they struggle with allowing him to play with girl toys and dress in girl clothes. Eventually they realize that their son doesn't have a problem rather, they and the other adults around him are the ones that have a problem (they are freake
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it
I love Lori's blog,, so when I saw she had published a book I pre-ordered it immediately. Unfortunately, I don't feel the book was as good as the blog. The book felt rushed, and failed to ever really dig into details so that I felt like someone was just talking at me, rather than feeling truly emotionally invested in her family's tale like I do when I read the blog.

I think Lori's talent as a writer is in telling one story at a time, which is why her blog works. When she trie
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Actual Rating: 4.5

I am so SO glad this book exists. I want to tell everyone I know about it, even people who don't read.

I have absolutely nothing against the LGBT community and I am so thankful this woman decided to open up about a topic that isn't addressed as much as it is probably experienced. I love how real, raw and honest the stories were in this book. It felt so real and relatable. My heart broke for all the people in this book (dare I call them characters) at one point or another. But
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
During my teaching career, I have had several children who I believed to be gender-nonconforming. Although it was easier to spot the boys who were, I had girls in my class as well. I'm please to say that only one family stuck out as a family that did not support their child, meaning- I am grateful for the love and understanding of so many other families of gender-nonconforming children. Seeing a parent give their unconditional love and support should be an automatic gesture, but it isn't always. ...more
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
When I was pregnant and we found out we were having a boy, I wondered what I would do if it turned out that he wanted to be a girl. As he has gotten older, I have realized that I would love him no matter what, because what I love is that person at the core of Atticus who is. I also realize that’s easy for me to say since he conforms to a lot of gender norms (although he says his favorite color is pink). The main revelation for me in thinking about this topic is that I don’t know a lot about kids ...more
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway
I won this in a free giveaway from Goodreads.

I am very happy that a book like this exists. I've never read Duron's blog, but I will be after finishing this book.

Raising My Rainbow is a fabulous memoir dealing with raising a gender creative boy. At first, there was some hesitancy from myself. There was some worry that it would exploit her children, but that was all brushed aside within the first few pages. This woman loves her children, and I truly believe she's looking to help people understan
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I read this book in a matter of hours. This tells the story of a family dealing with the prejudices they must face while they raise their child who is "gender creative". I cried and I laughed out loud while reading it.
Lori Duron does a magnificent job explaining that she and her husband agonized over everyday decisions that most parents have no difficulty making, in addition to the bullying that their other child was subjected to and how they had to be an advocate for both children on two dif
Ariane Trelaun
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Listen: this is what I keep saying -- Raising My Rainbow shares a subject whose time has come. And shares it in this intimate, bloggy manner, as the reader gets to know this particular family and its youngest member, CJ. I wish this book and its family so much success. Here's to an end to fear and bigotry, an end to bullying and harassment based on (perceived or real) gender difference, an end to the horrifying rate of suicide amongst LGBQT youth. On every page, I found myself just so moved by t ...more
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, own
What a talented mother and writer! I am so happy I won an ARC of this fabulous book. I didn't want to stop reading about the interesting, and often hilarious, events of this family. The children are both fascinating, sweet, thoughtful and positive. I love seeing other parents' point-of-views and how people raise their kids. Lori Duron is an incredible mom. She is encouraging, strong, intelligent, and allows us to see her gender creative son the way she sees him. The way this family tackles obsta ...more
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I found this a very interesting book.

Slices of a life I never had (not as the mother, at least).

I am still learning very much about gender and sexual identities. It was less than a year ago that read I read my first novel with an asexual lead character. It was odd for me to see two people in love and one of them repelled by the thought of sex in that book, but I got over it.

I grew to like them.

It felt less odd with CJ, but it felt just odd enough that I could understand his mom's panic. And his
Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this.

While I do think this book might be a great tool for parents of gender creative and trans children because it really focuses on accepting and loving your child as they are and letting them guide you rather than forcing them into stereotypes.

However, I was a little bit put off by the way that gender expression, identity and sexual orientation were mixed up as if they were all the same thing. I understand that the author's brother was gender nonconforming
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully well written story. I haven't read a book when I laughed or cried as much. This is a very touching story that everyone should read.

Everyone who is, was, or wants to be a parent should read this. My Daughters are adults, and it made me wish I had done so many things diferently. This is the outline for how every parent should treat their children regardless of who that kid is. I wish every parent could be like Lori and Matt her with their children.

This is going into my top f
Jenna Thiry
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
When CJ found a barbie in his mother's closet the whole family knew he was different. They all thought it was a phase. When he found out all the wonders of the female world, including a love for pink, barbies, and disney princesses, he began to play with his gender. While CJ is having fun exploring the world of gender creativity, his mother, Lori, tries to figure out why CJ is acting this way, and what she can do to help him. Before she consulted with a few therapists, she thought he was gay, li ...more
Genevieve Alissa
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
When I was in my mid-twenties, my dad told me that Ellen Degeneres coming out of the closet and my gay best friend being gay /having a boyfriend were "what was wrong with this world."  It made me incredibly sad and angry to hear him say this (not the least of which was because he still didn't know I was bisexual.)  In my opinion, Ellen and my best friend were two shining examples of what was right with the world. After finishing Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creati ...more
I think this was my first book about gender-nonconformity, unfortunately. As a WGST student I'm familiar with the term and what it means, but this was the first look at an individual and familial experience with it.

Lori writes with so much honesty and fairness. I appreciated how blunt she was about her and her husband's struggles with CJ's gender expression in the beginning. Watching their evolution over the book was phenomenal. If only more parents could be like them! We are lucky to have gend
Sam Stewart
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So so so so so good. So interesting to hear about this family's struggles - so authentically told, but so wholesome in how much they actively choose to love their gender nonconforming son each and every day. This is something that any parent or future parent or educator should read and think about. I will absolutely periodically check in on the blog, as CJ was 5 at the end of this book and is now 13! ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful story.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really powerful. C.J. sounds like an amazing kid, and you sound like an amazing mom
Douglas Beagley
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty great. A comparatively conservative "American" mom (there's a "drives an SUV and takes her kids to McDonalds after church" vibe--Barbie dolls, heels, etc) details the adventure of raising a gender non-conforming kid. Really good moments and conclusions. This is a book that can help push our culture and our society in a new direction... and it speaks to an audience that may want to change but is afraid of difference.

The vignettes come off a bit "wrapped up" or "pat"... the way that social
Miriam Downey
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Read my full review here: http://mimi-cyberlibrarian.blogspot.c...

Lori Duron is the mother of two boys, Chase and C.J. Chase is a boy's boy and C.J. loves princesses and Barbie dolls. At first Duron and her husband were a bit freaked out by the way in which toddler C.J. embraced all things girlie. Luckily for C.J., Duron already had experience with this because her brother was a bit gender-creative, as she calls the phenomenon. The couple tried to figure out a strategy for dealing with this chil
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Lori Duron is the author of Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son (Random House, September 2013). The first parenting memoir to chronicle the journey of raising a gender nonconforming child, the book is based on her blog of the same name.

Duron lives with her husband and two children in a happy, messy home in Orange County.

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