With the recent events and conversations about gender and stereotypes, one mother has had enough. The mom’s viral Facebook post is powerful message of defense of her son.
The Pennyslvania mother found out that her 6-year-old son was being teased at school because of his love of nail polish and other ‘girly’ things. Upset, the mother decided to pen a public message pleading with parents to understand why it is so important to let their child be who they want to be.
“My six year old son likes to wear nail polish. He likes to wear girls’ clothes and tutus. He tells me about the boys he likes at school,” mom Devon Berryann wrote in her now-viral Facebook post. “Maybe he will outgrow it. Maybe not. I love and accept him for who he is. I always thought that doing that would protect him from the pain of hurtful words and bullies, and I didn’t worry.”
Berryann explained that she had always kept an open mind when her son wanted to do something, even if that meant wearing nail polish or skirts. But, after she found out about the teasing, she had second thoughts.
“For the first time ever I considered talking him into taking it off. Into hiding that part of himself,” she said. “Because for the first time ever I was scared that he would be gunned down one night when he was out having a good time with his friends.”
The mom realized that she couldn’t let her fear overshadow her son’s happiness. It is a message that she wants other parents to realize too.
“Then I remembered all the reasons I let him be who he wants. Because it makes him happy. Because nothing hurts more than seeing your child truly sad. Because pretending to be someone you’re not to please other people only leads to self-loathing. To depression and to suicide. And that too made me afraid.”
Berryann explains that her son doesn’t need to change his ways, it is the world that needs a serious reality check.
“Why do I have to fear for him because of what he likes and who he cares about? Aren’t we past all this yet? I want this world to change. To be better for him. To DESERVE him. Because he is a wonderful, amazing person.” she said. “As scared as I am, I know that this world is not going to change with more fear.”
The mom’s viral Facebook post has been shared more than 9,000 times and has collected hundreds of positive messages. Berryann has even followed up with a second post that features her son holding a ‘thank you’ sign.