08 Sep / What Boy Does With Doll May Shock You!
On Friday, August 21st, I uploaded a one minute video to my Facebook friend page. The video featured myself, my two little boys, and a mermaid doll. I’ve been posting little videos of my family for 4 years, since the birth of my first son, Azai. This was the first time one of the videos went viral. To date it’s been viewed more than 100 million times!
Among the thousands of messages of gratitude that flooded in from all over the world, there were a few frequently asked questions that I’d like to address publicly.
People continue to ask me: “how did you feel when your son picked out that doll?” The full truth is, there was a moment of hesitation on my part, but it had nothing to do with the gender thing. It was about the style of that particular line of dolls. My wife and I have done our best to teach Azai to see inner beauty and not get snagged in the concept that all women should be shaped like Barbie. But because Azai has always been inspired by mermaids, I honored his choice.
When he placed the doll on the counter, the store owner said, “is this for you?” Azai answered, “yeah!” The man matched Azai’s enthusiasm, “cool!” He had obviously witnessed a child choose a gender-opposite toy before and had no judgment about it. But shortly after we left the store, Azai got a disapproving glance from an old woman. He didn’t see it. He was too busy marveling over the beauty of the doll. But I saw it. Once in the car, I turned on my cell camera and started speaking. The words just came out. It was liberating – for me more than my boys, I’m sure.
Others have asked: “How do you allow a child to ‘choose their life?’ If one of your boys decides he wants to play chicken on a freeway, will you let him choose that?”
The answer is, of course not. But I wouldn’t totally deny him the experience he’s seeking either. There’s always a deeper reason for these things. It might be that he’s not experiencing enough danger and wants to test his limits. In that case my wife and I would create an adventure, one that’s safe, but has all the radical thrills wild little boys seek.
Some people questioned my use of the word “sexuality,” accusing me of confusing my toddlers to think that at their age, they can choose what sex they are. I’d like to clear that up now: Oxford Dictionary defines SEXUALITY as, “a person’s capacity for sexual feelings.” I was simply granting my children the freedom to one day honor their natural sexual feelings…. as if any parent can really control that sort of thing.
What I know from experience and observation is, suppression will breed rebellion and depression. Our world is full of unhappy people who were pushed into a life that isn’t theirs. I won’t do that to my boys. My job as daddy is to guide and protect my kids, while helping to cultivate their innate sense of intuition and intelligence. Without that they’ll be forced to follow and conform. That’s when trouble begins.
I wish I could open my inbox for the world to read. In it there are thousands of messages from people of all ages, from all over the world. While they vary in language, they all share one common thread, and that is: People are crying out for the freedom to be whom and what they were born to be. The human spirit can no longer be contained.
My family and I are grateful beyond words to be involved in this dialogue. Thanks to all for caring and for sharing your voice!
P.S. I also decided to create a short video to reply to the massive response we’ve received. Check it out!
KEEP ME ELEVATED!