One mother learns to celebrate the #GenderBlend trend as an expression of true love and freedom for her kids and the world.

Love is the new, great undefined.

My daughter, Lauren has two transgender friends, three lesbian friends, a smattering of gay acquaintances, three bisexual buds, one panromantic pal (a person romantically attracted to other people despite sexual or gender differences–even as they recognize a preferential sexual attraction to one gender or sex), one pansexual friend (a person open to all romantic interactions, who is not drawn to a preference or “type”) and one asexual ally (a person who is not attracted to other people in a sexual way.)

Oh, and my amazing daughter taught me about it all. Legs crossed, perched on the coffee table as if were discussing her latest favorite musician, she patiently explained these differences in terms of cookies, ice cream, cake and noodles. Lauren and her friends don’t need to be told that “Gender Blend” is a “trend” – for them it’s a natural extension of something they already know.

Gender Blending is not only showing up in stock images, it’s in demand. And it’s making over the face of the familiar, antiquated, and dare I say, secure. It’s becoming almost “mainstream” in advertising; Clean and Clear announced a new transgender spokesperson, Jazz Jennings, who also readying for her reality TV debut. I’ll always remember Honey Maid and their commercial featuring two dads and the company’s dignified, consistent stance against the haters. Thanks for getting the Gender Blend party started Honey Maid, and props to you also for showing the side of men, which had been a media mystery, he who is masculine and nurturing, he who makes the choice to be both gruff and tender. This is a juxtaposition that mothers of young boys know well, and it is why we adore our little men all the way to their hidden, snuggly hearts.

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When my precious, gay son told me he was sad because if he were to fall in love he could not marry in all the states, he could not marry whomever he wanted to, wherever he wanted to, to bring his dream into reality, he could not write his story and continue to tell it in his unique voice, because he would be confined and constrained, I got down, too.

And angry. I put on my mother-fighting uniform, the stiff dress that restores my voice to a deafening roar. “Constrained,” “confined,” these words do not complement love, instead they lie — an unsavory, spoiled side dish to the most delicate and driving emotion of all.

My blind-acceptance children opened my eyes and furthered my progress into the Gender Blend revolution. I will wave a flag for the people they want to love, the ones they have no choice but to love because they, too are blown away at the timeless mystique of loving as we all are.

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Gender is changing and it’s radical. Gender, once considered to be as solid as cement, is transforming. The unchangeable is alterable and people are feeling the feels. Our only call to action is to support it and let it. Allow it to run all over the place and infiltrate both the easy and tough cracks and crevices; water spilled on a wooden floor.

When my son Colton came out I nail-bit on what he might require that I could not provide. His list of needs had one word: love. When Lauren announced her best friend was a lesbian I paused. Then I went right on loving. Because even though I am a parent, it’s not my business. My one job is to model love.

Gender Blending represents the greatest love we have ever known, it’s expansion in every direction, it’s the reeducating of what’s tragic and magic, personal and fragile. It is emboldened acceptance in an attempt to make all this shimmying and shaking for attention and validation eventually normal. It is not batting an eye at a cross-dresser, it is placing a tiara atop a flattop, sporting beads in beards and colorful nails popping in a pair of Birkenstocks. It is clichés eviscerated and put back together, unrecognizable, alien and okay.

Glender Blend and its associated lifestyles needed to be shoved down our throats to get us to budge. I’m sorry, but it has felt that way sometimes. Huffington Post’s article apologized to straight allies recently — “Dear Queer People: Let’s Stop Making Straight People Walk on Eggshells.” Gender Blend is an IVF baby in the midst of creation, the madness and genius brewing in the petri dish. Gender Blend is a real, unsynthetic baby, Dolce & Gabana! Wear the dress Goldie Hawn left out on the bed in the Out-of-Towners, John Cleese, and strut your stuff on the NYC sidewalk, on every sidewalk, where huge love lives. Love is so personal, so acrobatic, so analogic. We must guard the freedom to love as we see fit fiercely, it’s one of the only possessions we have left.

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Can this be the takeaway toward embracing colossal, titanic love? A love of all kinds? Living side by side in the world with us? A love in utero and bursting, yet unsurprising in its glory? This is where we want to go. Boys, slick on the new lipstick shade, girls befriend your lesbian sisters without any other kind of love but pure love parading through your head, without any other idea but to sing too loudly in the kitchen and laugh like loons as you cook Snickerdoodles. It doesn’t have to mean more or less. My daughter has a friend with a generous, overflowing, funny heart who happens to like girls. Pass the gluten-free pasta and who gives a shit. For reals.

Love. Is. Intensely intimate. This millennium it’s surviving the encroaching old neighbor dying to get a peek inside your home, the surfacey-seeming-to-mean-well friend, secretly delighting in the train wreck tangled in your front yard — horrified, fascinated and gleeful. Love gets a push into the spotlight this year in a bid for normalcy, and when it unfolds its wings under the glare, when it rises with timid perfection into a translucent, unprecedented beauty, it brings gifts. The gifts of all kinds of love in friendships, in non-sexual, soulmate definitions, being-to-being love. Love is and always will be our souls rejoicing, soaring.

I am welcoming this newfangled love in all its demonstrations and permutations. In media, schools, cities, countries, coffee houses, studios, dollar stores, vitamin shoppes, mechanic’s garages, everywhere. Love is welcome to soften the brittle, the unyielding, the pain of living oppressed. Gender Blend is long overdue.

In the middle of this life-is-what-you-make-it, I’m hungry to take in the redefinitions of the obvious and stagnant as they meld into fluid resplendence, promising effects we have never witnessed in this world, effects needed to change the lives of every single one of us.

Original article appeared at The Good Men ProjectReprinted with permission.

Photo: Flickr/Amanjeev

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