So Eurovision came … and went. But not before making a bit more noise than usual!
Yup, Conchita CAME – complete with beard, SAW a lot of love in the room and CONQUERED for Austria!
120 million watched her triumph. And I couldn’t have been more thrilled for her! Or me.
Her win came at the end of a week when I’d found myself completely disenchanted with gender stereotyping and an apparent lack of empathy for anyone who doesn’t fit in “the box” – no pun intended!
I’d seen THAT story – about Romeo Clarke – the 5 year old boy in the UK who likes wearing princess dresses. Which is cool – but for the fact that his penchant for pink saw him banned from his local playgroup. Apparently his mum Georgina was told it was “upsetting and confusing for the other children” but was assured that Romeo would be welcomed back “when he wears clothes which match his gender”!
*tries to stay calm
Seriously, this story couldn’t have made more more RAGEY!
But my initial feelings were nothing compared to how I felt upon reading through comments on the story. Over 500 opinions and, ready to hear supportive parents unleashing their views in support of Romeo and his mum, I scrolled through. Yes, views were being unleashed but they weren’t the views I expected!
“Social services need to get involved”
“This boy should be removed from his mother”
“Letting a boy wear dresses is tantamount to child abuse”
I was FUMING, not to mention nervous for my own son and the expectations on his tiny shoulders. When did we become so bigoted? Who CARES what a child wants to wear or play with? Surely happiness is King – or Princess! I’m sure the reaction would have been infinitely different had it been a GIRL wearing a firefighter or pirate outfit so where’s the difference? It’s a ridiculous double standard and it’s WRONG.
My children will grow up wearing what they want and becoming the person they were naturally born to be. FACT.
It’s my job as a parent to let them grow into the person THEY are – not impose out-dated gender stereotypes on them and squeeze them into straight jackets created by society. I want my daughter to be able to embrace all things “boy” – and vice versa for my son.
In Conchita’s own words “It’s all the same, at the end of the day, how you look or where you come from, because the only thing that counts is the person you are.” I can only imagine the tough journey she must have walked to reach THAT Eurovision stage.
LOVED this picture in The Daily Mail of massive and, crucially, supportive crowds awaiting her return to her homeland. Imagine how emotional she must have felt given that, just this year, a petition was circulated throughout Austria to try and prevent her from representing the country in the contest!
There’s a wonderful blog by an American mum called Lori Duron Raising My Rainbow “Adventures in Raising a Fabulous – Gender Creative Son”. Totally inspirational and well worth a read.
One of my wonderful blogger friends, Mummy Barrow, recently posted a Dr Seuss quote on her site and it couldn’t be more appropriate:
One of the comments on the Romeo story made the point “it’s too early to know who this child will turn out to be….” and that’s true, as it is of all children.
But I can tell you one thing. I may not know yet WHO my children will be, but I know exactly WHAT they’ll be…
LOVED and SUPPORTED – for the people they are.