Accept effeminate son as he is
DEAR AMY: I have a 6-year-old son. His father has always acted effeminate but miraculously was never told this until I told him when we married. As a child, my husband was always picked last for sports, was not considered a "jock" and felt like an outcast. My son is turning out to be almost a carbon copy of his father and is effeminate as well. Many people have noted it in both the father and son. I want to spare him the pain of not knowing why he is picked on by other children. My son isn't gay, but even if he were I would accept him. That would be a blessing, because then he would fit in better. As it is now, he won't fit into either world. Do I just let him go through life thinking he is unacceptable to most of society, but not knowing why? Do I tell him when he becomes a teenager?
North Carolina Mom
DEAR MOM: How about you let your son go through life believing that he is perfectly perfect just the way he is?
There is no question that some children face more social challenges than others, but no one fits in everywhere, and your son is so fortunate -- because he is just like his dad! This should be seen as a good thing.
I sense from your anxiety over this that you have a problem with your son's (and by extension your husband's) affect. You really need to tackle your own anxiety, and wrestle it to the ground so you can be your son's best advocate.
If he doesn't enjoy sports, find other activities (like music, theater, art and academic clubs) that he can enjoy with other boys and girls who will appreciate and include him.
As he gets older, be very open to discussing his sexuality and social challenges, and focus on his special strengths -- and the strengths of your household -- to be who he is.
Your husband is the mystery factor in this family equation. He holds the key to accepting and celebrating this boy. He can offer his own perspective and answer his son's questions. He needs to step up.