Getting Political

This is Pip. He is two years old. He loves to be Batman and Superman and Spiderman. He’s a real boy’s boy. He pretends he is flying, and he captures the baddies who threaten us.

Super Hero

He is the sweetest little troublemaker you’ll ever meet.

Some other things you might like to know about Pip:

He is a fabulous big brother. He was a later bloomer vocabulary-wise. He used to be terribly shy but has recently begun to come out of his shell. He loves new people and enjoys greeting them with a big “HI!” when he meets one.

His favorite color is pink. He loves Dora the Explorer. He has been known to wear my skirt as a dress, and he delights in cuddling with his mama.

Pip Loves

Last night, I took my two boys out to pick up a couple of things from WalMart. Mark had to catch up on some work, so I ventured out on my own, which is something I don’t do very often. It takes a lot of work to get the kids ready, get them in and out of the car, find a shopping cart, keep them happy while I shop and get them home in one piece. You parents will understand this.

After struggling to get him dressed and get his shoes on, I had to pry an overlarge teddy bear out of Pip’s arms, as he was set on taking him with us. This brought on tears and tantrums, which I somehow managed to calm very quickly. But when I attempted to remove my discarded lace flower headband from his head (which he’d been wearing all day), I saw him getting ready to fight, so I left him to it. Who was he hurting?

We got to the store, and amazingly I managed to get him to sit in the shopping cart with no issues. The fact he was wearing a cute girly headband made him feel good, and he was charming all the old ladies by waving like a little pageant prince. I snapped his photo after two old birds came up to tell me just how adorable he was.

Flowery Headband

He rocked that headband.

Soon enough, we were done with our shop and were making our way toward the front. As we passed through the produce section, two teenage girls began giggling and one of them asked, “Is that a boy or a girl?” I smiled and said, “He’s a boy.” I looked on at him adoringly as they continued to giggle.

Out of nowhere a big booming voice rang out. “THAT’S a BOY?!” The man was overly large with a bushy beard and a camouflage shirt with the arms cut off. He had tattered shorts and lace up work boots with no laces. I could smell the fug of cigarette smoke surrounding him, and there was a definite pong of beer on him.

“Yes,” I said simply, still smiling.

With no notice, the man stepped forward, grabbed the headband off of Pip’s head and threw it to the bottom of our shopping cart. He then cuffed Pip around the side of his head (not hard, but that is not the point) and said with a big laugh, “You’ll thank me later, little man!”

At the same time as I stepped forward, Pip grabbed his head where the man had smacked him and threw his other hand forward, stomping his foot and shouting, “NO!” I got between my son and this man and said very firmly, “If you touch my son again, I will cut your damn hands off.”

The guy snarled at me, looked at Pip with disgust and said, “Your son is a fucking faggot.” He then started sauntering out, but not before he threw over his shoulder, “He’ll get shot for it one day.”

I stood there, shaking, fists clenched, waiting for the man to disappear out the door, and then I fell apart. I was shaking so hard, holding back tears and comforting Pip.

Not a single person said or did anything. There were several people who had witnessed the encounter, but not one of them came over to offer support or console me or my son.

Let me repeat to you: Pip is TWO YEARS OLD.

I was there with a two year old and a five month old baby, and my kid had been verbally and physically assaulted by a man. And no one did a thing.

I made my way to the front, still in shock, and I paid for my items and left. I did not report it to the management nor to the authorities, though I am considering doing both. But as I live in a tourist area, I doubt there is anything I can do to find the man – he could be anyone from anywhere.

It’s been almost 24 hours, and I’ve vented on Facebook and had many supportive comments. I have calmed down. I am able to look at the situation with as much objectivity as I am capable of.

There is so much wrong with what happened that I don’t even know where to begin.

This man removed an article of clothing that my son was wearing. It doesn’t matter that it was a headband. It is never okay.

This man forcefully touched my child without permission. He thought he was being funny. I did NOT think he was.

He called my son an extremely derogatory word AND suggested that he deserved to die.

How is ANY of this okay?!

THIS is what bigotry looks like.

A grown man who should know better decided it was okay to step in and “teach” my child what it is to be manly. He thought it was okay to judge my child because he was not adhering to HIS idea of what a little boy should be. Clearly, the man was a homophobe, which is bad enough – but to attribute gay tendencies to a two year old is as RIDICULOUS as attributing STRAIGHT tendencies to a two year old. It just doesn’t compute!

A two year old HAS no sexuality.

To think you can “teach” a child to be a certain way is unbelievable. Even if being gay is a lifestyle choice (which I don’t believe for a second), it is not a choice that a toddler can ever make. And much like little girls can play baseball or enjoy monster trucks, little boys can and do play dress up with mommy’s clothes, accessories, makeup, etc. Everything is new and exciting to a kid, and they learn by trying new things.

Mark and I are both completely supportive of love in all forms. Be you gay, straight, bisexual, transsexual or polygamous, it is YOUR business. I don’t judge, and I don’t try and change you.

And if one or both of my kids grow up to realise they are any of these things, it will not change a thing about how I feel toward them.

But right now, the fact that homophobia is so rampant, that gay marriage is still seen as dirty because homosexuals are “lesser” somehow and don’t deserve to have the same rights as straight folk, that people like that man in WalMart even EXIST makes me fear for my kids and their futures.

While we may accept and support whoever our kids turn out to be, I am scared beyond words at what it would mean for them if they ARE gay. Why should anyone have to live in fear because they fall in love with someone that you or someone else doesn’t agree with? Why should mothers and fathers of gay kids have to have an extra layer of terror at night because they know that the world at large is against their child?

Why does it matter? Do you really think your God or your Jesus or your deity of choice would be as judgemental as you seem to be? Even the POPE has come out and said it’s okay to be gay.

But all of this aside, whatever stance you take on the debate, it is a complete farce to ever allow your fear or disgust with an ADULT lifestyle color your view of a child!

And it is NEVER EVER okay to touch a kid who isn’t yours without permission. EVERYONE, even children, deserve respect.

 

AN UPDATE - 7/31/13

UPDATE 8/1/13 – I have disabled further commenting on this post. Thank you to all those who sent out words of love and support. They were heard and appreciated. But it has become nearly impossible to moderate the comments because so many are coming in. And as there are many nasty comments and trolls here, I want to save myself and my family the stress and remove the option to comment. Thank you.

A Few Things – 8/3/13

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Comments

  1. Susan Johnson says

    I’d call my local news station and tell them the story… they could expose the man, and interview the employees on why they did nothing… something has to be done about that kind of bullying, and also about people’s inaction in such cases, when any one of those employees had the ability to throw him out of the store.

    • says

      Thank you, Susan. I have thought about it, but while I am incredibly angry and amazed by what happened and the fact that no one stepped in, the sad truth is that the entire thing happened in less than a minute, was in a small corner of the store and the man left very quickly. I write about it here to make a point but I fear that there is nothing more I can do. :(

      • Annie says

        Even if nothing comes of it, you owe it to your son and every other child that has experienced the same thing. Stores have surveillance videos. Report it to the police. A man assaulted your child. If you get blown it off, ask to speak to someone else. Do your homework and find out what the police are obligated to do.

        • Annie says

          But kudos for getting in his way. Your precious boy will remember that, if nothing else. And thank you for being such a loving open-minded person. The world needs more like you.

      • Laura says

        Odds are this jerk has, or will, assault other kids or adults who he perceives as being gay. I absolutely would at least call the police, explain the situation and suggest they try and hunt down security tapes. They may never track him down even with security footage, but if they do, he needs to be held accountable for assaulting a very young child. Who knows what else he’s capable of. People like that are scary and their behavior should never be tolerated or ignored. I’m so sorry you had to go through this.

      • Laura says

        Unless there were security cameras. That’s assault, not to mention assault of a child. If you report it, the authorities will have to investigate it, and there may be more evidence than you think.

        Thanks for telling your story, I am so very sorry this happened to you and your family, and on top of that, that no one stepped in to support you.

        • says

          Walmart has security cameras on everything. Report it, they will get you the video. This is unacceptable.

      • Tanya says

        “but I fear that there is nothing more I can do.”

        Are you kidding? You are doing your son a SERIOUS injustice with such a careless mind-set. You mean to tell us… You couldn’t have gone to the police department? You couldnt have notified store management and had them review security tapes? All you seem to TRULY be upset about is that no one rushed to your side and comforted you in the moment. If you think there’s nothing you can do, you are not only cutting yourself short but letting your son down. I am a mother to a six year old son who has more make up and nail polish than I do, he loves pink and we dont flaunt that. If he wants to wear his nails painted in public, fine. If he wants to wear a flower in his hair, fine. We have taught him to stand up for himself and that there’s nothing wrong with liking things- no genderwar needed. Has my son been accosted by another adult for his interests? No. He hasnt. And I feel sorry for the person who does it IF it ever happens, because they will have crossed the wrong parent. I hope you find your own bearings and teach your son to do the same. You’re angry about the fact that no one stepped in… sorry to break it to you but the world doesn’t revolve around you, your son, or any other one person for that matter. If you think someone needs to step in, you may want to work on getting yourself to do it. If you ever want to talk about this further, I would be more than happy to lend an ear and help you gather the courage to stand up for your son, because typing about it on the internet is not fixing the problem if that’s as much as you’re willing to do.

          • Xavier says

            You two have obviously never felt like you were in a place without power. You have no idea, other that what she’s written here, how she feels or how she feels anyone will help her especially AFTER the lack of help from anyone, employee or patron, of the store. Just because someone bears the title of Police Officer doesn’t make them any better than a civilian as well, and the events that happened and the lack of action most assuredly impacted her into what seems, to me, a lack of faith that anything would help. Hopefully she will visit the store and local authorities a.s.a.p., but until then you two need to really put things into perspective because until something like this happens to you, you have NO idea how you would react. You can say all you want here, but until something like that happens you haven’t a clue.

        • R. H. says

          How dare you make this woman feel guilty for something that was out of her control. Clearly she stated she was in shock and afraid. You should know that in situations like these you don’t know how to act or what to do. Non of what happened was her fault, so do not judge her or make her feel worst than what she already experienced. This is not the way to support some one or show compassion. Shame on you!

          • Adrian says

            Thank you. Tanya had no right to say any of that. Until she has been in a situation such as this, she can’t say this, and you should NEVER blame the victim. Also, I don’t believe the mother wanted someone to come in and comfort her because “the world revolves around her and her son”. Not standing up for someone being bullied is a form of bullying in itself.

        • says

          Tanya,
          I think you are being a little too harsh. Well meaning, but harsh. Katie is expressing her feelings anger/sadness/shock and you seem hell bent on her taking immediate action, and chastising her for not reacting in a more, timely, forceful matter.
          Sometimes people need a bit to process trauma. When I was harassed by a police officer in front of my child, I was visibly shaken and upset. It took me two days to quell the anxiety, but once that passed, I sat down with my son, explained to him that what had occurred was not right and then took him to the police station as I filed a report.
          I showed my son that you should stand up for yourself. I didn’t have the full capacity to do it in the moment of the confrontation, but took the opportunity when I could.
          I think you might want to rethink your wording.

        • says

          I agree. Bottom line what that man did was wrong.

          Perhaps what you perceived as others not stepping in, was simple people who were shopping and who did not see the 1-minute altercation. Not knowing what happened, I would have erred on the side of caution too. Had I seen what had happened in full, would likely mean I would have done otherwise.

          Blaming others for not taking action when not taking action yourself, will leave you frustrated and regretting the “What if”. Speak up. What’s the worst that can happen? You never find the guy? At least then you can say you tried to remedy the situation.

        • Carla says

          At first, our post may sound a little harsh. But, reality IS harsh. I agree with you. The only person that can do anything about this is the mom. By not doing anything about it, it’s pretty much accepting that it’s ok to do this to a 2 year old. Stand up for the 2 year old!

        • Vyala says

          I would like to reiterate the fact that it all happened in a minute and the man went away very quickly. Therefore, the people may not have done anything because it happened all to fast. And because they may have feared for their lives. You don’t know why she isn’t reporting the incident. Maybe she herself is scared for her life and her family’s. Maybe she doesn’t want this type of publicity on her children and family. Especially Dexter. There is both bad and good publicity and many people may actually be on this man’s side. This publicity can affect her children possibly both negatively and positively. And I’d like to point out that man said that her son would end up being shot? What if she reports this and other ‘people’ who share similar viewpoints attack her son and the rest of her family?She is not doing an ininjustice by not reporting this. She may actually be putting her family out of danger by doing so. Stay safe and strong Katie. would like to reiterate the fact that she said it happened in less than a

          • Vyala says

            Sorry for my typos, I can’t see too well with the cursive writing and I kept selecting copy and paste for some reason. Touch pad sucks sometimes. But hopefully my accidental errors don’t stop in getting my point across.

          • Granny says

            FYI, there are laws protecting children/juveniles from being identified in any way in news reports. The exception is if parents want a kidnapped/abducted/missing child found, they can & usually do allow the news reporters to publish the name & location of that missing child. But any type of assault is reported without identifying the minor or specifics like addresses, street names, etc. All the news is allowed to say is a child was assaulted in Walmart in such & such city. The police are looking for this man w/his description. Anyone with info about the man please call the police dept.
            Do not be afraid to report this to the police ASAP. This bully needs to be charged with assault, before he physically injures a child.

        • CensoredColors says

          I find your claims to be an almost civilized version of telling this woman to sack up, which I completely disagree with. Every single person deals with things differently, and processes things in the moment and afterwards very uniquely. To tell her she is doing her child a disservice by not pursuing right away? Rather harsh, and frankly I don’t think it’s within the acceptable criticism range to tell her what she did was wrong, and then explain what it is you think you do right by your child or what you think you would have done in that situation. Perhaps she will pursue farther, perhaps she won’t, but ultimately that is her choice, and I’m sure in the end she will go over and above what she has already done for her child, which was stand by him and protect him. Last I checked she stood up for him quite a bit, and it’s not an unfair claim to be genuinely shocked nobody stepped in. It is shocking, and can be a jarring experience when it happens. But never once did she put forth the idea that it was all about her, nor did she claim she wanted sympathy or expect the world to suddenly revolve around her experience. This was a post by a Mother who unfortunately had to face off against a man scared of what he doesn’t understand in the world, and was shaken by it. That is all it boils down to, and in the end I feel she stood by her child just fine.

          Oh and last I checked “just typing about it on the internet” actually gains a lot of exposure these days.

      • says

        I for one commend you for your level of restraint. I’m glad to hear you actually said something to this jerk of a man, if he can really be considered a MAN, but I would’ve taken a step further. I’m the kind of parent that strikes hard and fast, I very confrontational that way. However, because your children are so young, your reaction is probably the best way to handle the situation. Your 2 year old does not need to see you in what could’ve been a very violent confrontation with a very large stranger. When my sons were that young I would not have acted much different than you because I would not want my sons to see their mother in such a violet situation. Nowadays, that’s completely different. They are 14 & 18 now, so I show them on occasion that I will not take crap from no one, especially in regards to the care, safety, and education choices I have made for my children.

      • May says

        There’s nothing more u can do if u do nothing about what you CAN. There are too many options available 2 u. Almost every store has video cameras, every news stations loves human interest stories, even local internet savy children would blog about this as to get SOME kind of results. If u do nothing about what u can do…then nothing more is what you’ll get. If it were my child, I would not stop. I usually (believe me I feel ur pain) try to take my son shopping WITH my husband (or I just shop online) because if someone touched my child without my permission…I would (leave my child with my husband – if he didn’t get 2 him 1st – as 2 not mentally/emotionally/visually scar him) physically DESTROY them! The amount of blood that would be released from that lower life form would be immeasurable. You are a better woman than I, I don’t think I’d be as polite as you are right now. Good luck in your battle ahead.

      • Chrissy says

        It’s possible they could have caught this man on a surveillance camera or something. Then his face would be all over the news!

      • says

        Katy,

        Wish I was there. *I*’d have called 911 and would have followed the guy out to his car (discretely of course) and called it in. It was battery and threats for which he could be charged and jailed.

        Next time, you won’t be alone – there will be community to support you.

        Even if it is a day later, call it into police. You’ll have a record.

        It is important that this incident is reported.

      • Eric says

        Go to the police station, file a report, just give them the date and around the time it happened. If it is on video they have to give it to the police and since he assaulted a child his face will be on the news along with other means of finding the man who did this horrid act.. Not following through tells the world that picking on children who might turn out to be gay is OK. There is too much research that proves that genetics play a role in our sexuality and the fact that this dumb redneck clearly has less than a high school education needs to be brought to justice for assaulting your child. That is child abuse, and not reporting it could be seen as a form of neglect since you have made it now public. As a gay man I can tell you, I was horribly picked on as a child, teenager and then into adult hood. I often tried to kill myself over the amount of verbal and physical abuse I had to endure as ac child for being different. We don’t choose our sexuality, our sexuality chooses us. This debate can be waged for ever, however the point of the matter is this. If you are not taking action to bring the man responsible for attacking your child and committing an act of nothing less than a hate crime against a kid, then you are doing your child nothing to help in protecting him when the day comes when he does come out of the closet.

      • Rita says

        Realize that just as shock made you respond in a way that if you had had time to think about it, you would have handled the experience differently, so may have the people around you been more helpful if they weren’t so shocked that a human could behave so despicably. I bet you anything that several went home and said ,”why didn’t I do something ?” Go after the SOB. The fact that your son said “NO, loudly , reflects well on your parenting skills… you are teaching him that certain behaviors are unacceptable. Go get ‘em.

      • Sullie Z. M. MacSweeney says

        I used to work at Wal *Mart, you can speak with Loss prevention folk if you’ve got a time/date frame, they are usually pretty decent about helping people out, especially where unwanted physical contact has been made. It’s something to seriously pursue and I would fully advise to do so. Getting word out, describe him as best you can, get those videos, tell the news, tell everyone. I have no qualm about making some moron that thinks it’s okay to assault a kid that’s not even his, his family’s or friends. I despise how much hatred and judgement is in this world, despite how I can be angry myself. It’s people like him I want to sterilize..among many others.

    • Richard says

      Don’t target the employees. Depending on the management just confronting the man, while the right thing to do, could have lost them their jobs. It’s hard to always do what you know is right when $7.50 an hour part time is all that is keeping food on your table.

      • Mollie says

        That’s some weapons-grade b.s., Sir. If the employees saw a child getting clobbered by a stranger, it is most certainly their duty to speak up and call the authorities. What if the man had ran OFF with her child in order to further the incident? What if, after she said she’d cut his hands off, he turned his hands on HER instead? Standing by and doing nothing is cowardly and wrong, no matter what your wage is.

        • Katie says

          Molly, WalMart can and will fire employees for “speaking up”. And before you get on your high horse to lecture about how they should be willing to lose their jobs over a child’s safety, think about the children THEY have to support. WalMart is one of the worst possible places you can work in this country (just google walmart + food stamps), so quit blaming people who have no other choice but to work there for not wanting to endanger their jobs over this.

    • miss serena says

      I fully support this statement. Please, no matter how far fetched you think it is, seek this person out. Expose their behaviour locally, the news paper/stations is a great start.

      I also think it is a great point to seek out the reasons why noone responded when you were being attacked. That is not okay. Ask the store management, find out what their policies are. Put up a sign in the parking lot asking for witnesses to come forward.

      At the very least, continue to engage others in discussion. The issues of homophobia need to continue to remain in the spotlight. Something needs to change.

    • says

      Or, you could just realize that there are people out there who are pricks, you’re not going to get along with everyone and let it go. You’re not hurt, your son isn’t hurt, you squared off with the redneck, there’s no harm done here one way or the other.

      If being out in public and finding out that there are people out there that you aren’t going to like is so traumatizing to you and apparently your child, then you should stay home, only send your husband out to the wilds of Walmart and wrap your son up in a big thick coating of bubblewrap so that he never has to encounter big meanies for the rest of his life

      • Phil Culmer says

        So it’s ok for grown men to hit babies in your world is it? You really need to take a look at your values.

      • Breanna says

        Considering the man physically assaulted her child, I think it’s more than encountering a “big meanie”. He’s a two year old for crying out loud, not a teenager. No one should ever experience bullying but expecting a mother to allow her 2 year old to be treated that way by a grown man is wrong. He was an ADULT, her son is not only a child, but a very young one at that. It’s more than someone being a prick, it’s someone being downright dangerous and reckless.

        And by ignoring that behavior, you’re showing your child it’s okay to be treated that way. It’s not. Dislike that he’s wearing a head band? Ok. Don’t like gay people? Sure. But physically rip a headband off of a child’s head, assault him, and call him derogatory names for it? Absolutely uncalled for and no one should ever allow that behavior.

      • says

        That is terrible. You are basically saying that it’s okay for a ANYONE, a grown man or not, to physically and verbally assault her two year old son because she’s “not going to get along with everyone.”

        Not getting along with someone is fine, but it is wrong, and ILLEGAL to assault a child, no matter what the extent.

    • says

      All child abuse should and must be reported to the police. Quite possible that he won’t be caught. Also possible that next person who reports such an incident will be taken more seriously than if a lone event and that time he might be caught.

      But most of all: all child abuse must be reported to the police. Bulling should be as well.

    • Lydia says

      Your son is absolutely adorable! I’m sorry that happened to him. He is lucky to have a mother who understands that he is just a child, playing. And is accepting of him for who he is.

      That individual is a creep. He has no business putting his hands on a child. You have to make the decision you feel is right for yourself and your child.

    • Vicki Skinner says

      I think contacting a reporter that you KNOW would cover this story in a POSITIVE way that could help EDUCATE people is a GREAT idea!!

      My EXTENSIVE experience with knowing LOTS of gay guys is the “he doth protest too much” is OFTEN a cover up for other deeper things – like gay people themselves that are in EXTREME self-hate, people that were molested & having resolved it, people that THINK they don’t know anyone gay – either way – LOTS of insecurity with their OWN sexuality/self!!

      ANYONE that DARES use Jesus to ream gay people surely is NOT a TRUE BELIEVER let alone follower of Jesus because Jesus #1 was ALL about LOVING & ACCEPTING EVERYONE!!!

      My heart goes out to this family! I SOOOO RESPECT the mother for not inflicting HER beliefs on this child!! Imagine how YOUR life would be now everyone – had parents allowed YOU to be AUTHENTIC (luckily I WAS able to be authentic & still am!! Trust me – it’s VERY FREEING!!!!).

      I can understand mom fearing for their childs safety when they do become gay in such a judgmental world – but if YOU continue raising your child where they’re SHOWN in YOUR ACTIONS – how to live AUTHENTICALLY, how to have an OPEN HEART, how to ACCEPT EVERYONE, how to give back (& ESPECIALLY how to RECEIVE!! When they’re not taught to do things for other peoples pleasure/to meet their needs (I will NEVER say to ANYONE “I’m proud of you.” I say “You MUST feel SOOOO PROUD of yourself!!! I sure would be if I had done that” & trust me, 99% of the kids look at me confused & then they think about it & then you can just see their chest puff out & that sense of PRIDE come over THEM!! That’s easy to do when you’re not doing things mainly to gain others acceptance or love. Because you will NEVER be able to FULLY please EVERYONE & MANY people are devastated when they can’t make another happy – or they leave.

      Dexter – keep wearing your headbands, or pink dresses or whatEVER YOU WANT!! You are SOOOOO MUCH MORE FABULOUS than those people that tell you you can’t be you!!!!

  2. says

    Amen! Preach it sister! My five little boys are tough as nails but LOVE to wear my jewelry, dresses, aprons, etc. They want me to paint their toenails when I paint mine. And they don’t hurt a soul! For anyone to judge, question, or touch your little guy is unacceptable! One of my children is black and we had a similar nasty exchange at Walmart when he was about 3. It left me feeling angry and sick inside for what his future will be like. I rest in the knowledge that the majority of us are raising kind, open, loving children and hopefully all that goodness will someday override the hate and ignorance. Please tell Dexter I think his headband ROCKS!!!

    • says

      Thank you, Jessie. I want my son to know that men can be sensitive, loving and in touch with whatever feminine side they might have. The fact that they have coined the term “metrosexual” to illustrate that men these days can be that bit more feminine should show that there is nothing wrong with it.

      I am sorry that you had to deal with any sort of ignorance toward your child. And I will definitely pass on your comment to my boy. :)

  3. says

    Wow. That is one ignorant man! You have much more self control than I do.
    I’d have rammed that headband up his nose! Then ran him over with the cart.
    I hope Dexter understands just how hideous that man’s actions were.
    For the record, I think he looks gorgeous in the headband!
    I’d have come to your aid had you been in my local supermarket. :)

  4. says

    OMG I am completely horrified for you! How dare a stranger lay his hand on someone else’s child. How dare someone speak to a child they do not know like that! How DARE a stranger insinuate that an innocent child deserves to get shot because he likes to wear a headband!

    Young children do not care about gender specifics! If they like something, they like it. They don’t care if its girl or boy.

    I’m so angry for you. That you’ve experienced this and that NO ONE came to your aid. Sometimes it’s a horrible world we live. Xx

  5. says

    Oh. My. Word! I can’t believe this happened or that no one did anything during or after this confrontation. My daughter wears boy shirts & PJs bc she lives superheroes and they are never found in the toddler girls section. You’re so right about little ones having no sexuality. They’re just kids. They don’t have the thinking that today’s society does about what is appropriate for girls & boys. I’m so frustrated just reading this post & I wish I were there to console you. I would have never ignored this situation if I observed it. I can imagine how shaken up you were. I pray all the time that this world would loose all the hate it has. Props to you for allowing your little one to be himself & give him that confidence. It’s so important. Hugs!!

    • Nonny M. says

      Bless your high-horse heart, Ms. Cuntmeyer.

      We’re not all perfect parents, but because we’re parents means defending our children. So be it if Mama Bear comes out every now and again. Maternal instinct is necessary in cases of ignorance such as this.

      Katie, so sorry to hear this happened. I applaud you for handling yourself in front of your boys, I am sure it was the last thing you wanted especially on an outing without your husband. Things like this should NEVER happen to begin with. You and your family continue to teach tolerance and praise your children in being who they are and whatever they want to be. I hope you find the peace you are looking for soon.

    • funnyfaceking says

      i agree

      don’t (just) threaten physical violence

      in a case like this, you should carry it out

      • Chris K says

        I agree with funnyfaceking. I absolutely would not be able to stop myself from getting violent with someone like that, whether it was my kid or some random person’s kid at Walmart. I have ZERO tolerance for that kind of bigotry! And to assault a child on top of it!!!!!!!!!!

    • Paul R. says

      Did you miss the part where the man stepped up and touched her child without permission? Or the part where the man actually hit her child? I don’t know what I would have done in her place but I have no problem with her threatening violence to someone who already acted violent.

      And Katie, I am so sorry that no one stepped up to help you. I can only imagine that it was happening so fast that people just couldn’t believe it was happening.

    • Karen says

      I’d never threaten! Such a silly waste of time. I would, and have, punched him. Period. That is my child…I won’t stand by and allow it to happen. Oh, and screaming loudly at the same time would help.

      Love to Dexter!

  6. says

    My son is also two and also LOVES Dora, and My Little Ponies, and the color purple. He likes Superheros and the solar system and cars too. We live in Alabama, I had a [not at all as ridiculous] encounter at a Walmart here as well when I was allowing my son to pick out a new pony as a prize for a successful poo-poo in the potty. It was a big achievement! And he wanted a pony, so we were getting a pony. A woman and her daughter were on the aisle too while my son named off the ponies he had at home and I was trying to find something he didn’t already have that was in the price-range for us. The woman says to me in this voice of utter disbelief: “are you letting him play with THOSE?”and points to the ponies. I just kind of awkwardly laughed it off and said something like “he really likes the bright colors and he’s always loved horses.” I was so irritated, I shouldn’t have to explain his interests to a total stranger. Some people! My own in-laws asked me one time if I was “trying to make him gay” I mean seriously. The kid is his own person, he likes all kinds of things.

  7. says

    That man is what the face of evil & the devil look like! He certainly had absolutely no right to touch your child for starters – that was assault and you could have filed charges against him. I suspect that’s why he retreated so quickly. Thank goodness there aren’t many of his kind, and hopefully you’ll never ever run into another!

  8. says

    what happened to you and your son is disgusting!
    Having lived in the States I know how ‘backward’ some parts of it are, but it is no excuse. Shame to all the passerby who did not step in. that is as disgusting as the man being abusive to you guys. What a sad day for you all.

  9. Nicole says

    As a soon to be mom I am in tears right now. I am so sorry you and your children had to experience such hatred. Thank you so much for sharing this story. I would encourage you to also share it with the news or others in your community so others know what is going on in their back yard.

  10. Nathan says

    I am livid on your behalf. I can’t imagine being in that situation and not striking back. I applaud your self control.

    If it’s any consolation that man likely has a miserable life.

    Your son seems a charming fellow. I hope he can get over this experience and not think poorly of himself.

  11. FuturoDellanazione says

    Wal-Mart has surveillance cameras that would have captured the event. If you are serious about your outrage, inform the store and see to it that something is done.

  12. mel says

    Report it, and go to the news. There’s likely video footage of this happening. They have cameras in the parking lot too-if you got really lucky, they could find footage of him walking to the car and get the license plate number-or at least the make and model.

  13. rose gidley says

    I would have punched him in his face and screamed as loud as I could…… hoping to make a scene. Let your little boy be whatever he wants to be. Don’t make him repress his creativity.

  14. says

    OMG what a horrid human being. He should be the one being shot! Disgusting. And I agree, it is never OK to just touch a child especially when you do not know this child. I’d report it and ask the store if they have any CCTV as evidence. I hope, if you do report it, that this man gets all that is coming to him.

  15. Gillian says

    It’s probably been suggested already, but file a police report. I’m absolutely certain that Wal-mart has every square inch of the store on surveillance to catch shoplifters. Get a still photo from the security cameras and go to the media. Somebody somewhere will know something about this guy.

  16. says

    Unbelievable. Today while shopping a man was being friendly to my son and touched his arm and it made me incredibly uncomfortable. How you must have felt I can only imagine xx

  17. says

    How horrifying and I totally agree that you should take action on this. Maybe the store has CCTV footage of this attack. And it was an attack on a 2-year-old boy. He was assaulted physically and verbally. I have pictures of my son when he was just 2, stomping around the living room in my high-heeled shoes. Young children play dress-up. Simple as that. He has every right to express himself as he sees fit without being attacked by some ignorant goon. Sure a newspaper could track this guy down and shame him.

  18. says

    I am a single Mom of a three year old and when I paint my toes, I paint his too. He asks for it and he loves it. We were recently at a party when a little girl started making fun of my son. My seven year old niece got in front of him and said “it’s not funny, he likes his toes painted so leave him alone!” I was beyond proud. My son likes to wear things Mommy wears because it’s what he sees. It doesn’t make him gay. As you said, children don’t have sexuality yet, so why teach them what’s right or wrong! I would’ve said something to that man. I’m sorry that happened to you.

  19. Stella says

    I am so sorry this happened to you. Rest assured that if I had been there, I’d have given that man a piece of my mind, and then bought you a big coffee (or glass of wine). Good on you for protecting your little one.

  20. says

    What a horrid man! I can only imagine how angry you must be feeling right now! Who does he think he is talking to a child like that and grabbing them in that way. And for no one else to check if your OK is also disgraceful. I hope they feel ashamed of themselves. xx

  21. electricmayhem says

    Call the store, call the police, call the media. What could that guy do to someone else?

  22. Grace says

    My heart broke reading this. I have a 5 month old baby boy, and he has lots of “girlfriends” – baby girls his age. My husband and I are always careful when we talk about him growing up that when he finds a “girlfriend or boyfriend” “wife or husband” etc. It is so wonderful that your sweet boy will have the support and love he needs at home. With that, he will overcome the strangers in the world that lack the understanding and acceptance that you will undoubtedly pass on to him. I wish you all the best for you and your family.

  23. Christine says

    That man should never had laid a single hand on your child.
    I would have done more than just stand there if I saw that, but I am glad that you were able to retain your anger in the face of that jack-ass.
    Now as for civilians jumping in… there is a scientific experiment that has been shown several times known as the bystander effect.
    You can find all sorts of information about it, but that’s generally why people don’t effectively help out.
    Of course making more people aware of this phenomenon would help curb some of the onlookers.

  24. Michele says

    WalMart is rife with cameras. There is almost zero possibility that this was NOT caught on tape … what you do with that information is up to you.

    • tim m says

      I completely agree with Michele, you have cameras galore. And apparently any number of eyewitnesses. If you don’t take action, what will the criminal do to others when nobody is looking? By taking action you can help prevent someone else from being hurt or damaged.

  25. says

    I’m so very sorry that you all had to endure that. It is so wrong on so many levels. There is definitely a moral and legal wrong here. I don’t know what the right path to go down is for you and your family, only you can decide that, but your son was assaulted and I would think you could take legal action. I so wish I had been one of the people there and was able to help and comfort you. It is not okay for people to stand by and watch that happen and not help you or try to stop the whole gig. I’m just really sorry and totally horrified by the whole thing. It is just ridiculous and sad. I will be praying you find peace and healing as you figure out what to do with the whole situation.

  26. says

    Whoah. You have no idea how much my blood is boiling just reading this! First, let me say YOU give me hope for the future of this country, and what a wonderful, loving mom you are. As for that neanderthal homophobe – I know his type all too well! I personally think you should see if his actions were caught on the store’s video surveillance cameras. I’m sure it was. And if so, yeah – take it to your local news station. Because this wasn’t just verbal hatred – HE TOUCHED YOUR KID!And regardless of your son’s sexual orientation, it’s nice to know you will love him 100% whichever it is!

    All my best! Paul V. – http://www.BornThisWayBlog.com

  27. says

    It is very possible you will be able to get video footage from the store if you know a good idea of time/date. Walmart won’t release it without a police report, but I have had to do this for a vehicle accident and they have very good video coverage.

  28. tim m says

    This story is horrifying and completely unacceptable. I think you should file a police report, insist that you want this person charged with battery, and tell Wal=Mart (in writing) that you will expect the security footage to be preserved for prosecutorial purposes. Don’t let this guy get away with what is a straightforward criminal act.

  29. Kelli says

    That is infuriating! I would have probably said something to management & the police. Maybe try shopping at Target instead? They must have more accepting attitudes there – I saw male-male and female-female wedding cards there today!

  30. Carrie says

    Wal-Mart is plastered with cameras both inside and out. There is no question that the police could track him down. He needs to be held accountable for his actions. In addition, if he is treating a stranger’s child this way imagine what he is doing to any women or children that may be in his life. They may be too scared to take action but you can be brave and strong. Please call the police!

  31. Paula Ehler says

    Katie, what that neanderthal did to your beautiful son Dexter is atrocious. As other commenters have said, I’m sure this jerk was caught on camera. What you do is up to you, but the idiot committed an illegal assault and I think I would want to tell the store, authorities, and the media. Dexter is a treasure and he is lucky to have such a wonderful Mom and Dad. Good luck.

  32. Ernest says

    Kids have no sexuality. They are oblivious to how the World truly is, to them they see the best in people when we see the worst. For that Asshole to touch your son and call him that word I would’ve done some harm and yes going to Jail would’ve been worth it, you won’t get a second chance at touching my child ever! You did the best you could do and for all those people who stood around doing nothing they should be ASHAMED of themselves because lets be honest, had that man called a Black person’s child the ‘N’ word and threw his backwards cap in the shopping cart those same people would have done something. It’s disgusting how backwards our Society is. But as a mother I will applaud you and your son will Thank You. Whether your son grows up and Marries a Woman or a Man, that’s up to him. He will thank you for allowing him to be HAPPY. A child is innocent who are WE to Judge!?

  33. Pam says

    I haven’t taken time to read all of the comments here, but what this man did was assault, plain and simple. I would report this to store management ASAP. WalMart has security cameras all over the place (inside and out) and can likely identify the dude. If they do, I’d press charges. Pronto.

  34. funnyfaceking says

    i’m sure the whole thing was on video

    i’m sure a guy like that is known to the police

    it’s not too late to call them

    that guy just can’t go around assaulting two year olds

    it doesn’t matter what the reason is

  35. Adam says

    As a man, I do apologize that this happened. My friend Jessica Trunk is a frequent user of this site (which is why I found it and read it). My son, Ayden, is 7 years old and loves all the ‘feminine’ things that are on tv, through music, etc… I have never chastised him nor made him feel as if something is wrong. He is great the way he is. But to have someone come up to my son and tell him what he is or what he likes makes him a potential threat to society, it more than wrong. What the ‘boy’ said to you is grounds for criminal charges. He assaulted a child and threatened bodily harm, which in my state are both felonies. I carry a firearm with me at all times to protect the ones I love and their loved ones, I do say that if I was in this scenario that I would have discharged my firearm in to this ‘boy’ for assaulting my child. Violence begets violence and it seems to me that is the only to communicate with these kind of ‘people’. Don’t get yourself dirty with this stuff let us who have been in the muck our whole lives do the dirty work for you. No saint here. Best of luck to you and your son. Shower him in praises and let him know he is perfect the way he is.

  36. Belinda says

    I first want to tell you that my 18 year old son sent me the link to read this story. I am so angry. I can’t believe that man laid his hands on your precious child. My son who also wore my clothing from time to time along with my shoes, jewelry, and make-up. That same little boy is one of the smartest people I know who only wears jeans and t-shirts and has a full beard. He is very manly looking. He still has the kind of heart of one appalled by your story. Because we had the kind of relationship where I allowed him to figure out what he likes and become the man God intended for him to be without judgement, he is the kind of person who believes everyone is a child of God worthy of love and respect. He has never given me a reason to be ashamed and I am proud to send him into the world in three short weeks. Love your boy and continue to let him enjoy the things that make him happy. He will remember it as how much you loved him and were not ashamed.

  37. says

    I would have screamed, loud and long, to get EVERYONE’s attention. Then, when management showed up, the asshole would have a lot to explain because I would demand the police be summoned.

    That was assault, pure and simple. He TOUCHED you kid. Without your permission. And he hit him on the HEAD.

    Go back to walmart, demand to see the tapes from the security officers. I can guarantee you they have them and you need to get it. You might have to have an officer with you when you go, call and talk to the police. The store may not want to cooperate unless there’s official criminal status with it. And, if they don’t let you see it, I would get a lawyer and make them give it to you. The suggestion about going to the television is another good one. If you can get the pictures, you can get the cops to press charges and you can use those to get the public to identify him.

    But do NOT let them bully you or your kids. The only reason why that redneck douch-canoe thought he could do that is because he believes no one would stop him. And if he’s done it to your kid, I can guarantee you he’s done it to someone else’s kid. And what if he has kids? He may be abusing them.

    Call on him. Seriously.

  38. says

    As a father, I’m furious on your behalf. I’ll tell you what, both of my brothers and I all did some things that were probably “feminine” when we were younger. Just about every little kid crosses those supposed gender boundaries at some point. I’ll admit to having a few my little ponies when I was young. I’m pretty sure I had He-Man or GI Joe riding them on occasion. What that guy did was utterly inexcusable. You were much more patient than I with regard to someone laying a hand on your child. I’ve got a son (Timmy) just a little younger than Dexter. He plays with his sister’s dolls when he can get a hold of them. So what? It’s certainly no cause for an adult man to ever verbally or physically assault him. Regardless of who he grows us to be, it sounds to me like your boy’s off to a good start. Keep it up.

  39. John says

    Move to Chicago, or any northern city (probably) for that matter. Something like that would never happen to you here. Where do you live ? Sorry if I missed wheee it says that….

    • John (another one) says

      Nothing like that would ever happen there? Google “gay bashing Chicago.” This stuff happens everywhere.

  40. Michelle says

    I am shaking with anger for you. I just want to hug you and your beautiful son. I a, shocked at both the encounter and that no one stepped in. I think this hits me because my amazing son’s favorite colors are pink and purple and he’s been known to steal his babysister’s headbands. I always appreciate his pure innocence. Pink is a pretty and cheerful color Who wouldn’t like it?! And headbands, well, those can be downright beautiful. Why should girls have all the fun. But recently he’s started shying away from his favorite color. He made a comment about using his sister’s pink sippy in the house but not taking it with him because pink was for girls. It broke my heart to realize he lost a little bit of his innocence. It’s a cruel world we live in. Unnecessarily so. We need to support one another so our children can hold on to their innocence just a little longer. Hugs mama.

    • Kristen says

      I agree – didn’t happen. First she says it’s Walmart, then in the comments it’s “a small corner store.” Details don’t add up. If this actually happened, any mom would have GTFO of there when she smelled the stench on the man, not stood there like a tool, not to mention at least said something to management before leaving. I needed my waders to get through this one, the BS was so deep.

      • joybirdie says

        Hey judgmental person,
        She didn’t say “a small corner store” … she said “a small corner OF THE store”

      • Penny says

        She did NOT say it was a small corner store. She said in happened IN a small corner OF the store.

        And I am a mom, a fiercely protective mom, but I can completely understand why she was frozen in shock.

  41. Kory says

    I had to control myself to not let this become a raging rant against an ignorant person who assaulted an innocent child (but I agree with others, consider pressing charges), instead I want to praise you for loving your son and accepting him as is. We need more parents like you.

  42. Pink Loving Guy says

    The store almost definitely has CCTV footage. Go to the local police and get their help. Do this for your awesome little boy, yourself, and the next kid that *thing* will call a faggot.

    I only wish I had been there. I probably would have done the ‘right’ thing and went to you to see if you were OK, but it would have felt sooooo good to have chased after that skidmark on the underwear of humanity and repay all of the beatings I took for being gender non-conforming kid. Because eventually some little boys who like pink grow up into big dudes who like pink and who hate violent homophobic drunks.

  43. Gavin says

    Thank you for giving us your story, even though there is ugliness in it. That a grown man would do something like that is horrid and inexcusable. But here’s a positive take-away… The bigots are fighting hard right now because they are scared. They see their very narrow comfort zone being ripped away and they are in their frenzied death-throws to preserve it. We still have a long way to go, but there are more and more people doing the right thing… the No H8 Campaign, Heterosexuals for Same-Sex Equality, and others who are working for people to live the whatever life they are wanting to lead. And, frankly, that scares the shit out of bigots. That the anger and vileness is being foisted on a small child by an adult does nothing but show how hollow that man is. Don’t let them shove their fear off on you. I’m sorry no one in the store had the presence of mind or courage to help you, but please know you and Dexter, and your husband and other child for that matter are not alone.

  44. Ember says

    Holy… what the…

    Honestly, I suspect people didn’t do anything ’cause they were so shocked they didn’t know WHAT to do.

    That’s just… aarrrrgh.

    -E-

  45. Nancy Hall says

    Your understandable outrage over the way your son was treated does not give you the right to denigrate others. You lost my sympathy at “two old birds.” Your son still has my sympathy, in part because he has a mother who thinks it’s cute to call elderly women, like me, “old birds.” According to your story, these two women did nothing more than admire your son. If yo want respect for yourself and your children, you also need to give respect.

    • Anon says

      Are you frickin’ kidding me?? THAT’s what you get out of this story? Get over yourself. At your age, one would think you’d know better.

      • KP says

        Actually, I agree with her– how judgmental is it to call someone elderly names when you were so upset? Yeah, some people may think it’s cute, but I’m 25, and that’s disrespectful to the elderly. Jeez. Also, the mob mentality here is scary, you don’t have to crucify the guy.

    • Sylvia says

      Maybe the ladies you referred to as “old birds” would be just as offended by that term as you we by the term “faggot”.

  46. says

    As a gay parent of a 2.5 year old, I am sitting here in shock reading your story. First I want to acknowledge how wonderful it is that you let your son wear the headband, the skirts etc. Trust me, I was a hockey boy and still turned out gay. It is not the activities or the accessories that make someone gay.

    In case you are interested, our son is the cover story for BC Children’s Hospital. He has already had open heart surgery and also has Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD)…and yes, that’s actually what it is called. Our story is featured here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BR0CR6FiN8

    FYI, I found this link off my Facebook feed so I suspect it is going viral. So thanks for sharing your story…and keep on being a great mom!

    _ Chad

    • The Bitch says

      You are a moron! Why would you think it’s okay to call a child a Gaylord? You are a prick & karma will come back to bite you in the ass. You are a disgrace to the human race. People like you should be put down.You fucking bigot. Grow the fuck up & stop being hateful toward anyone who doesnt agree with you. Go fuck yourself you asshole!

  47. Charlene Leona Marks says

    I’m horrified that this happened to you but some of the worst people in the world frequent Walmart. I’m transsexual and have been harassed by store employee’s early in my transition, for which I made sure they were discharged from their job’s. I hope this doesn’t traumatize your son but as others have said I would do everything to find and prosecute this vile man. Had I been there he would not of walked out of the store he would of been rolled out after I gave him a nice shock from my stun stick. I sure wouldn’t be able to stand and watch another do that because it happened to me at 14 when my mom’s boyfriend told me he would kill me if he ever found out I was gay. It was wrong then and even more so now, put the fool in jail so he doesn’t hurt another child!

  48. Melissa says

    I also have an 18 year old son who at 2 latched on to his older sisters pretty pink satin and lace night gown and wore it constantly because he liked the feel of the satin. He would also insist on getting his nails painted when I did his sisters nails. He is now a jeans, t-shirt and flannel with a beard guy who practically needs a neck brace when a cute pair of tight jeans walk by but didn’t bat a lash when his friend “came out” three years ago. My six year old son also wears my headbands and high heels and he like his brother and little Dexter will figure hisself out and it’s nobodies business but his own. Its obvious this man needs to learn some manners, maybe the police can fit him with his own set of matching bracelets. Good luck.

  49. hilary says

    Call Wal-Mart. Request they review the security camera. File a complaint and call the local authorities and file a police report. Even if they cant do anything about what that man said, he hit your child! He may be able to be identified and possibly a warrant put out if they find out who he is. Good Luck!

  50. Kristine says

    You are a much better person than I am. Being a parent of a gay child, I would not have tolerated that type of behavior at all. I would have made sure that people saw what he did, and made damn sure that he did not leave that store did the police came. Reallu what is a. 2 year old going to do. He is going to make that biggotted slur one day to the wrong person and that will.be it. Personally if it was my child at two I would have smacked shit out of the stupi son of a bitch.

  51. Michael Bandy says

    I came across this story because a friend of mine shared it on Facebook, and I was absolutely floored by it. The NERVE of that dude! That is absolutely NOT okay.

    I am a gay man, and as such I’ve faced a lot of discrimination and name calling and horrible bigotry. I’ve been called every name in the book, and to hear that a word like that was directed at a TWO YEAR OLD just makes me sich. I wish that there were more parents out there like you, parents who raise their children to be understanding and caring and loving, and love them no matter what. The world needs more people like that!

    The fact that no one came to your aid speaks volumes about what our society deems as acceptable behavior, and it makes me sick to my stomach. I can say this not just as a gay man, but as a person – if I were in that store and saw what happened to your little boy, that dude woulda been HURT. Period. His actions were inexcusable, and I hope that he does pay some sort of consequence for it.

  52. Daniel B says

    Hi Katie, I’m Daniel, a gay 27yo from Spain. I just read what happen and I can’t stop shaking myself. That was totally unacceptable. I can feel your impotence and frustation. Please, recieve all my support and love. Keep being just the way you are, you and your son, and do not pay attention to neanderthals.
    Big Hug

  53. Paul says

    What disgusts me the most is the lack of intervention by anyone else around. I am a father of a 4 and 2 year old and if anyone laid a hand like that to my children they would be on the floor in pain faster then they could blink, I would also do the same in your situation. If someone touches another persons child like that and they couldn’t defend the children i would step in and defend them like my own.
    You need to report it. This thing, i wont even give it the respect of calling him a man, needs to be taught you cant touch another persons child like that. He wont stop and he’ll get bolder and bolder until one day it could progress to the worst. PLEASE report this, and remember there are people who have values and will stand up for you when you can’t.
    Paul
    USN

      • Fake Story! says

        Why does it seem fake to you? To me it seems fake because what mother would sit their and NOT say or do something to stop this man from talking all this shit to their child? I would have been in chair from stabbing him. In my opinion if this “MOTHER” Doesn’t do anything to prosecute this man then she deserves to lose her child! If she cant stand up for him then why should she have him. What GOOD MOTHER lets some bigot prick get away with putting his hands on their child? I would have killed him!! Plain and simple. she should be ashamed if she didnt report it. Its a disgrace on her part for not wanting to report it. shes as much at fault as he is. This is a lie. Shes making this shit up… Lying bitch!

  54. says

    Report it. Walmart will have security footage. The faster you act on it the greater the chance of the video being retrieved. Chances are they will not only have the footage of the man, but license plate info as he leaves the store.

  55. Mae says

    My OCD is appalled at that headband because he has it on tilted backwards. I could never let my children wear their headbands like that. It drove me crazy. My craziness aside however I am really proud of you for standing up for your son. Too many times women are shocked into silence in these situations and feel great guilt after the fact. Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that stories like this will encourage others to realize its ok to stand up to bullies in these situations. Even if you are standing up for a stranger

  56. says

    I am so sorry that you and your son went through this. Hugs, songs, strength. And… What a complete and utter jerk. Agreement with everybody who wants you to go to Walmart and ask for the security tapes. This schmuck committed assault on your child.

  57. says

    I would, at the very least, tell someone at WalMart’s corporate headquarters what happened. This story is going to spread like wildfire, and it will be bad press for them because it’s going to look like they condone this kind of behavior, that WalMart won’t do anything if you or your child is threatened by another customer. WalMart will have to speak up and say that they don’t condone this behavior and play damage control. The man may not get arrested, but extra press and something out of WalMart makes it known that this kind of behavior and attitude is NOT OKAY, and that it’s also NOT OKAY to turn a blind eye to an adult bullying a child. We can’t undo this event, but we certainly can stop it from happening to other people.

  58. Kerri says

    You have so much more willpower than I. My Momma Bear would have come roaring out and I would have beat that man within an inch of his life for touching my baby.

  59. Lisa says

    As shocking as this story is, I am not surprised and that is sad in itself. Why is it that people feel entitled to pass judgement on children that don’t even belong to them?
    Fortunately, I’ve never experienced anything this unpleasant in this regard. A lot of people thought my son was a girl when he was a baby but I got that because he was a very beautiful little guy and none of the comments were ever derogatory, just surprised. What we did have a lot of and it irritated the living crap out of me was check out girls asking him and his sister why they’re still wearing nappies and why they’re still sucking their dummies. A couple of them even ‘pretended’ to take the dummies away and I would just stand there thinking, “What business is it of yours that they wear nappies and suck dummies? Are they your damn kids?”
    Sorry you had to go through this, Katie. Some people just shouldn’t be allowed to leave their trailers.

  60. Gina Curry says

    Hello.

    I’m very shocked! That’s very cruel of him to do that. I know there are many kind of people like that but Katie, You are not only one, my young brother (who my family adopted), hes only five years old and He LOVES to wear dress or carrying a purse and I don’t have problem with it, don’t let it get to you, one day that adorable Dexter will grow up and be thankful that he got you, the mother he could ever have! Keep it up, protect your kids – one day, your kids will protect you too! You and your boys are gorgeous!

    :) oxoxox

  61. Gina Finotti says

    I was 8 . I walked into my local Catholic Church, and suddenly someone has plucked my wooly hat off and slapped it against my chest. Ilook up .It’s the priest and he hissed”Show some respect son!” I am little eight year old girl with short hair, no gender issues, just short hair.But the viciousness and anger will remain for me forever.

  62. says

    Reading about how he treated your son makes me very angry. He had no right to do that. Even if it would have been his own son, he would be so far in the wrong he’d deserve to get arrested. That man is a bigot to put it simply, and deserves to experience that knd of treatment himself.

  63. Camille says

    Please Katie, please please please report it to the police. Report it to the media, report it to everyone possible. That person does NOT deserve the privilege of anonymity, nor should he be allowed to assault a child with impunity.

    I am so sorry that this happened to your family, I am–but I beg you to not let the douchebag get away with his douchebaggery.

  64. Bex says

    I’m so sorry this happened to your son. For the sake of other other non-conforming kids and adults, please report this to the police. Stores should have video footage of the incident so there may be a chance of it getting somewhere. If this guy is willing to hit a 2 year old in front of everyone in public, what will he do under the cover of dark/ in private? I suspect onlookers were simply to shocked and scared to react. He assaulted a little child! He needs to learn that’s not acceptable.

  65. says

    I would go to the police and go back to Wal-Mart get the video of this asshole putting his hands on Dexter and then take the video to the local media and get them to run the footage maybe someone will turn him in and you can charge him for assault on your son!!!!
    Has I been in that store you better believe I would have stood up for you and Dexter and I barley stand 5’0″ tall!!!

    • says

      I agree. The store has video surveillance of people going in and out. I would report it and make the police pull the footage of this man going in and out of the store. The time stamps on your receipt and the video surveillance will corroborate that you were in the store and when as will the picture if you shared it through Twitter or Facebook. Don’t let this go.

  66. kinky bbw says

    Terrible story, if it’s true, but it sounds fake to me. Everyone knows walmart has cameras. She could’ve had him identified inside and outside the store. For her to stand there completing her shopping trip instead of hurling things at him while she chases him off and getting his plate number or at least directing a store clerk to make the call, is just despicable. Her inaction was just as appalling as everyone else’s. I mean it’s her kid for crying out loud. Clearly she’s not as ok with him being a princess boy as she wants people to think, not only because she let someone abuse her child in front of her and get away with it, but because she even tried to take the head band off of him to go out in public. She gets no kudos for raising him in the closet. She’s clearly an abuser, too. I’d even venture to say that she needs to admit that she’s disappointed with having a son and quit letting her 2 year old boy walk around the house dressed as a girl to get her attention. She needs to put her skirts in the closet, not her son. Lastly, if it was a true story, I believe she would’ve posted about her husband’s reaction, but she’s probably too lonely with him being a workaholic which is the reason she’s turning her son into her gay best friend. He’s clearly not getting his father’s attention or the dad probably ripped her a new one but that wouldn’t sound impressive on her blog.

    • says

      I’m so deeply sorry this happened to you. I’ve read through the feedback and have something important to add: you did nothing wrong at all. There have been some unkind, speculative comments made — thankfully, they’re the minority — and they’re absolutely wrong. It’s dreadful, as a parent, to find yourself in a shocking situation like this — certainly it knocked you off guard: after all, you’d been having a lovely time until the confrontation. Your reaction was appropriate — and writing the events down can be a great way to start processing them.

      If you’re anything like me, you’re probably feeling very violated right now and that’s absolutely normal. This happened to you all: you, Dexter, and your baby son. The man not only focused his bigotry and hatred on Dexter, but also fired it at you — he insinuated, after all, that he was “rescuing” your child from bad parenting and that you didn’t know what you were doing. In fact, the message was “your choices are going to get your kid killed.” That’s a terrible, horrible thing to say to anybody — his actions and his words were both completely wrong.

      I would strongly encourage you to go to the police. Walmart stores are usually under very close surveillance and I’d bet this was indeed caught on tape. I know it can be really harrowing to think of putting yourself and your child through a full-blown investigation, but the benefits are twofold (at least):

      1) The man in question will very likely be found and made to face his unacceptable actions. These stories usually hit the headlines on a nationwide basis — as they ought to — and offenders are usually caught.

      2) Your speaking out will help other parents and children who might otherwise remain silent. Silence is a bully’s best friend: if you stay quiet, they can continue to bully and abuse. If you speak out, their actions are brought into the light and their hiding places disappear. Light is the enemy of abuse.

      What you and your children had to endure was terrible. Go on mama — go to the police and seek justice for your family. Your sons will see a strong, courageous woman in action: they’ll learn that women deserve respect, and that standing up for yourself and for your family is the right thing to do. You can do this: you’ll have plenty of support.

    • says

      Are you serious? Comments like this never cease to amaze me. If you’ve nothing better to do than make snap judgements about an entire family based on nothing but malevolent speculation, may I suggest you take up a few hobbies to help you fill your spare time? Taking a course in compassion might be worthwhile, too.

      Cruelty is never okay — as the man in this story has so succinctly proven. Cruel words like yours are uncalled for: please educate yourself and think things through before you write them down in future. You’re not as insightful as you believe you are — and meanness is never helpful, illuminating, or beneficial in any way.

  67. Amy Martin says

    That’s disgusting and I’m so sorry you and your child had to go through that. I completely agree with your statement: “But all of this aside, whatever stance you take on the debate, it is a complete farce to ever allow your fear or disgust with an ADULT lifestyle color your view of a child!” I am one of those who believe homosexuality to be a choice, but absolutely, it is an ADULT choice, nothing to do with a child, and what horrible language to use to a sweet child!!! I’m livid FOR you. Also , even if an adult lives that lifestyle, a person’a belief bout it do NOT give them the right to belittle them. Just…disgusting.

  68. says

    Please. Contact the police to at least make a report and see if they can get security footage of the man.
    As I read someone else suggest, getting local news involved, not just tv, anything local you have, is a good resource.

  69. says

    Wow. I am so so angry on your behalf. How dare a grown adult treat someone -especially a small child – on that way. I too have a two year old son and can just imagine how I would have felt if that had been my boy. Xavier too likes to dress up in my jewellery sometimes. This does not mean he is going to be gay. And I do not care what sexuality he grows up to have. The only thing I don’t want him to grow up to be is bigoted and nasty like this hideous man. I hope at least that your son was young enough to be unscathed by the man’s words.

  70. John Styber says

    I agree with all those who said you should go to the police and report this assault. For it was assault on your child! Walmart has surveillance cameras and they may have the recording of this incident. Do not let it slide!

  71. says

    Another vote for reporting it, as there’ll be CCTV – I don’t know how long they’d have to keep the footage, but at least if it’s reported you can decide what to do and the footage won’t be recorded over (if they still do that). How horrible though, I don’t know what I’d do – I know so many boys who love pink and would go crazy if anyone spoke to my child like that!!

  72. says

    I’m speechless. I’m so shocked that this happened to your son and even more shocked that no-one came to help you or check that you were okay. If that man had done that to an adult I’m sure someone would have called the police in a second! Why do people seem to forget that children have rights too. I would definitely report it to the authorities, there must be cctv footage xx

  73. Kim says

    I don’t think I would have been able to restrain myself from tryin to beat the crap out of him once he laid a hand on my son. You’re a bigger person than I probably would have been. And just know, there are more educated and decently respectful people out there than not.

  74. Rachel Clarke says

    Report him to the Police.
    He will still be on store CCTV
    It will be classed as a common assault on a minor I would think.

  75. Tristan Khan says

    You’re doing a great thing by writing about your experience. This will net you a lot more exposure than a police report stuffed in a drawer would. Unless of course that gets picked up on by the press, or something. But here you are being your own press, and reaching tons of people, so… way to take the time!

    And sorry about that guy. His views are unfathomable and he had no right to touch your boy. I hope he wasn’t affected beyond the short-term. But since you were, he might be, indirectly… for the better.

  76. Ashley Lane says

    I’m still going over how this is can be real. I know it is, but just the comprehension that people like that man actually exist in this world is mind boggling. I’m so sorry you and your son had to go through this. And while you and I do not know one another, I urge you to make this public. Not just for your son’s sake, but for the sake of every other person in your area. If this man feels it ‘acceptable’ to lay a hand on a child (let alone a child that’s not his), imagine what he’d would do to a grown adult?

    Take this to the police and demand Walmart release the CCTV footage. The last thing they need, is more bad press. And if the police and Walmart do not want to get involved, take it straight to your local paper and make it public (your decision to write about it online is a great start). As a fellow journalist (not in the same country I’m afraid), I can assure you they would be interested in a story like yours.

    Hang in there. You have a lot of people backing you up on this. x

  77. says

    The store should have CCTV and should be able to see him in the store. I myself am a gay man but putting ‘sexuality’ aside, this man assaulted a 2yr old boy. Please report this!

    My heart goes out to you and your family x

  78. says

    This is London calling!
    Ohhh your story has got me so angry. I must commend you for your restraint. Violence does not solve anything, but if anyone did that to me or my child (or nieces/nephews come to think of it) I would have been scratching that mans eyes out like a wild cat!
    Unfortunately, there are and always will be backward, ignorant, biggoted idiots. Uncivilized in a civilized world :(
    What hope is there for the future? This guy probably has a wife and kids who have the same views as he does, and in turn will pass it on to their kids. Nothing… well other than a full labotomy maybe… will change their views.
    Not sure how things work in America, but if it was me, I would write a letter to the supermarket (in the UK supermarkets have a duty of care to their customers) explaining your situation, and then I would also put a complaint in to the police. What happens if he does it again to another child and they are seriously hurt as a result. You need to do all you can to make him accountable for his actions.
    Also, sounds like this happens a lot in Wal-Mart. We have Asda over here – which is owned by them. And there is definitely a particular calibre of person who shops there!
    On a plus side, you and your husband sound like lovely, grounded parents. So at least your kids will grow up decent!
    Kay

  79. Jim says

    There are security cameras. This is not only battery but assault. Most people think assault is physical but assault is verbal abuse. This is a prime case of battery.

    You need to call the police and file a report. Otherwise, you are letting a person move on with life thinking his hate crime is ok. Do you remember the white guy on the plane a few months ago that thought it was ok to hit a black baby? Yeah, not ok, and you shouldn’t allow this to go unpunished.

    If you do nothing then you have just set a terrible example for your children. They may not remember this incident but if they ever read your blog later in life and learn you did not stand up for them by calling the police, you will disappoint them.

    I repeat, there is no good reason you haven’t called the cops if what you wrote is 100% the truth. The guy should be getting arrested.

  80. sara says

    I just don’t know what to say except wow. This is just, shocking and disgusting. I am SO SO very sorry that this happened to you, and I honestly don’t know how I would have reacted. I would likely have done the same thing you did. You sound like a wonderful mother, and Dexter sounds like a precious, wonderful little boy. Just keep your head up and know that there are people who are like you, there are people who support you, and there are people who care about you and Dexter even if we don’t know you. :) Keep up the good work, mama. Don’t let the assholes get you down!

  81. Matt says

    You’re a fantastic parent and should be proud of yourself. You have raised a son who is strong enough to know who he is and what he wants to do/wear AND strong enough to be open about it.

    So he likes to wear headbands and dresses, so what? I can’t see anything wrong with that. Mr Redneck should learn to mind his own business and concentrate on his own life…

    You give your son a big hug from me – he’s amazing.

  82. alex says

    Report it to the police! That man should not be able to do that and get away with it.

  83. says

    I’m sorry this happened to you and your son. The world can be ugly, huh. But remember the ‘two old birds’ who came over and cooed over your son…the world can be ugly but some people will love him for exactly who he is. Blessings to you, to him, and to all who are outraged and upset on his behalf.

  84. says

    Hello there. I am not surprised this happened. Your child did not deserve this at all. You should go to the police and or the news. This kind of behavior is what is wrong. Even if your child was gay who cares? He is still your child.

    I just wanted to say that he is really cute and I hope your future adventures are without people like that guy.

  85. Ekblom says

    I’m drinking from a WTF?-cup at the moment and that’s what’s crossing my mind as I read your story. I have no children of my own but I have nine siblings in a variety of ages (all from 4 years up to 18 years old, me being the oldest at 29) and I recognize the feelings you are describing.

    I don’t care if my brothers and sisters turn out one way or the other, as long as they are happy and content – who am anyone to judge? My brothers have had lots of fun dressing up in my and moms clothes while they was experimenting in their early ages and now my youngest brother does the same. And when I was their age I did lots of “guy” stuff, playing the Nintendo all the time and rocking at basketball.

    No one lifted an eyebrow at what I did, why wouldn’t boys be allowed the same kind of acceptance? The only comfort I can give is that this kind of behavior will never be tolerated and it will die, sooner or later. It’s just insane.

  86. chris says

    Some things, as awful as they are, and you were correct in your assessment that what happened was awful, can only be made more awful by some intervention. By that I mean: What if your husband had been there and confronted the guy physically? He might now be in jail, or worse. What if a store employee had attempted to stop the man as he left? That employee might be lying dead on the floor if the man was drunk and armed. What if you had called the police and they got to the parking lot before the man pulled out? You’d have been there for an hour or more making the complaint and answering questions (and who knows how supportive the cops would have been when you describe the issue), and your kids getting anxious, bored, restless – center of unwanted attention – and who knows what; and then you’d be involved in a court case.

    You did the right thing, the right things, and you’re doing the right thing now. Keep on doing what you do; it’s all you can do.

  87. Tom says

    How awful! I cannot imagine the horror you felt. I am glad you and your child were not hurt and hopefully he will have no memory of this monster. Not only is this man a bigot, but he is just outright dangerous to society. We need to eradicate hate, there’s no place for it among anyone. Gay, straight or whatever, Love is Love!

  88. Nicole says

    My husband is a cop and I told him this story. He said despite you not classifying your son in a sexual way to call the police and ask for the glbt liaison unit/classified officer. He said don’t call the store first, call the police because they can look at the tape but the tape could be deleted if the store doesn’t want trouble. This is a hate crime. It deserves to be reported even f he is never arrested. I don’t know what I’d do in your situation. I’m SO sorry it happened to you.

  89. Paula says

    Just wanted to say that your a brave mum :) and who cares what a two year old wears etc
    My Dad (who is deff all man & 81yrs old) is Batman & Spiderman :) he plays in a local band called Bournemouth Carnival Band (we are in Dorset England)
    Who dress up to preform at carnivals etc…..
    The children love it when they see Batman walking towards them, so you tell your little man that he has the love of all of us and that he can wear or do what ever he pleases and that in doing so he wont grow up to be a beer/cigarette smelling overgorwn hic who does not belong any where near children…..
    xx

  90. Bianca Bradley says

    He assaulted your child. Report him to the police. The store should have surveillance footage to back up your story.

    This is wrong on so many levels. I’m sorry this happened.

  91. says

    I grew up transgendered. This story explains in stark detail what, exactly is wrong with the world – this is how some people in the world treat anyone who doesn’t fit into their shallow boxes. The sad truth is that anyone who expresses anything that confounds the tiny minds of bigots can expect to experience violence at the hands of the illiterate, nuckle-dragging, microcephalic neanderthals. What is truly sad is that your son had to experience this at such a young age.
    I do hope that you report this, and that the poor excuse for a man that did this to your son faces the assault charges.
    And if this “man” thinks that a 2-year-old boy wearing a headband is an affront to masculinity, I wonder what he thinks of a grown man assaulting a 2-year old boy! If there was anyone who wasn’t a “man”, it was him.

  92. Linda Liverbird says

    I don’t know what to say! OMG.. actually I am not all that shocked over that so called man, but over all the people that did not say or do anything???? This is just tragic! I have a 2 year old son too. And he often comes home from daycare telling me that he wants to be a princess, not a prince. I just smile and tell him that he can be whatever he wants!

    let yor 2 year old boy be just what he is! A 2 year old! :) <3

  93. Susan says

    I am so sorry this happened to you & your son. That is unacceptable. If you do feel like pursuing it, however, it may be worth a shot. My vehicle was recently struck in a parking lot & the person simply left. I didn’t realize it until I got home, so I wasn’t sure if it happened at Walmart or at my local grocery store. Walmart has a surprising number of security cameras, both inside & outside of the store, I found out. The security staffer who reviewed the tape for me was very helpful and was able to provide a surprising amount of detail (such as the fact that I was wearing a pendant necklace) from the tape. In my case, the tape proved that my vehicle was NOT hit at Walmart. (Unfortunately, the security cameras at the grocery store were not so detailed & we never caught the driver who hit my car, but that’s another story, lol.) So using security footage, they may be able to isolate the individual who assaulted your son inside the store, follow his movements outside of the store, and see what vehicle he got into. One thing to note, however: you may need a police report for them to review the tapes for you. I did have to provide one, but I’m not sure if that has to do with laws in my area or Walmart’s own policy. If you choose to pursue it, good luck to you. Either way, your kids are lucky to have parents who allow them to be themselves.

  94. says

    I would have spoke up for you its disgusting people didnt. Please do report this the Walmart staff should be better trained too. Big hugs

  95. says

    Hats off to you. If I had been at that store I would totally have had your back. There is nothing acceptable about something like that. It’s unfathomable.

  96. Marcia says

    Katie,
    I am so upset for you. I have two sons, one of whom is also 2. He fell in love with a doll that a friend of his had (also a boy, also 2). I bought him one. MY SON OWNS A DOLLY. He calls his dolly Baby Hotdog. HE IS TWO. What happened to you and your son is horrible – and there are horrible people out there. But, you are awesome. Hang in there. There are always going to be bad apples. But you’re teaching your son to be himself and be proud. Kudos.
    -Marcia

  97. says

    How you didn’t hit that man is beyond me! I’ve had similar incidents with myself where other customers have shouted at me and followed me around the store, upon complaining to the store I get the “It’s an issue between two customers, nothing to do with our staff and that’s why when you requested a manager staff didn’t do anything”.

    That monster laid his hands on your child, which is totally unacceptable. I’d be calling the police and letting them deal with the issue and possibly dropping an email to some local media, if he did that to a 2 year old, god only knows what he’d do to an older child.

  98. jeni says

    that is horrible. you showed a lot more restraint than I would have. my inner mother bewr is quite vicious. ;-) I would be willing to bet that man would have no problem with a little girl wearing a batman mask…. ya know, since that’s *clearly* a boy’s costume.

  99. Ellyasp says

    Assault and battery. What he did is legally considered assault and battery. You go to the police, the manager, whomever you need to. This man gets away with this often,I’m sure, because its just one minute in the corner of the store. Hugs to you…I would have said something if I was there.

  100. Clint Miller says

    Ok. Let me start off by saying I have had homosexual thoughts and friends. I don’t now, never have had, nor will I ever have a man as my wife or husband because I realized that shit ain’t right. While the man’s actions were wrong, his ideals were right. If the whole world is over-run with homosexuals and pro-creativity is demolished on account of it, the world is screwed. How many wars do you want fought with an army of homosexuals standing up for you. Men get shit done. Women get shit done. Homosexuals frolic in their gayness like they are in the land of annalie puffing the magic dragon. Their may be some tuff homos out there, but that shit still ain’t right. As far as a man physically and verbally abusing your child, that shit ain’t right either. You aught to have slapped the shit out of him and went on about your way. A kid doesn’t have sexuality at two years old? Believe it or not, a boy is, in some way or another, attracted to girls at two if he has met her. Cooties is the first give-away. Shyness is another. It is natural. Homosexuals being allowed to marry is the worst fucking idea on the planet!! How do people not know this? First of all, chivalry. Just because you are proud doesn’t mean flaunt the you take it up the ass every night. Chivalry could very well be the saviour of the homosexual race. And GOD has all the right to judge a person by his/her sexual preference. That is why GOD created a woman to be with a man. Jesus Christ! How many times have you thought about your butthole after a huge shit and said, “Gee! I want to put a dick up there!”? Never! Because that shit ain’t right. Get over the Homosexual shit. It has never been, is not now, nor will it ever be right. That is the truth. Accept it. What other choice do you have? Gay Pride? I choose a wam bed with a beautiful woman.

    • says

      Oh my goodness. I feel sorry for you — and I’m not saying that in a sarcastic or mean way. I really do. I’m so sorry you were raised in the belief that it’s somehow wrong to have homosexual feelings: it’s actually a very natural part of every animal species. If you think about it, you’re attaching an undeserved emotional response to a completely benign physical way of love. Explain “morals” to me? Explain what, exactly, is “wrong” with being gay — without any silly jokes about a homosexual army, or any fallacious generalizations about homosexuals in general?

      Someone must have been very cruel to you as a young boy to make you say these things. Particularly things like “homosexual shit” and your willingness to vilify other people’s lives so haphazardly. Thankfully, people don’t have to “accept it” — even if insecure individuals try to force them.

      I wish you luck with your journey and hope you find peace at some point. Because the alternative is an everlasting inner war which — eventually — you won’t be able to quell any more. Why not take a deep breath, look inside yourself, and question your own motivations now, rather than spending your whole life expressing your misplaced anger. You can be a lot kinder — and a lot more understanding — than people were to you. Being kind is a choice you can make. Being gay isn’t.

  101. says

    You could be the reason another child isn’t assaulted by making a police report, or you could be the reason another child is assaulted because no one has stood up to this bully.
    Personally, I would make a police report and ask that the security footage at the store be examined to see what line he was in and how he paid for his purchase. No one has the right to cross the line this man crossed and as a parents, our job is to protect and TEACH our children how not to be a bully or a hateful prick.
    I say this as an adult child of a lesbian who put up with a LOT of hate speech as a child because of the ignorance of others. It DOES hurt and it does make a child change.
    Thank goodness your two year old doesn’t comprehend a death threat was made against him…but you do.
    Good luck with whatever your choice is.

  102. says

    You were a hell of a lot kinder to the guy than I would have been, whether I was the mom or an observer. If I’d been there, he would have lost more than his hands.

    And I hope you do file a report. This is BS. You know, Wal-mart does have in-store cameras…

    *Hugs* to you and your adorable little Dexter!

  103. Becca says

    Sugar.. in these days and times….there still is no cure for STUPID!!! And dude with the tattered shorts & stinky ciggy smell fills the bill. Oh and by the way…your little boy is absolutely adorable :)

  104. Ann says

    Seriously let that boy wear his headband, let him teach the world that its okay to be whoever you like :) Don’t give in to that bigot guy!

  105. Lynn says

    This made me cry. This could easily be my son. He constantly tell people he is a boy as he likes to have long hair as his father does. He also likes his toes painted and dresses in his sister’s dress up. He also loves super heros and trucks and all things “boy”. I have let him wear bows and head bands out as he was not hurting anyone and it should be no big deal. I have no idea how I would have reacted in that situation if I was attacked but I am confident that had I witnessed that in a store I would have spoken up for you. I am sorry that there were not other compassionate caring people in that store who saw that. But we are here for you and support you in loving your son and allowing him to be who he is. The apathy you experienced is almost as bad as what that horrible man did to you and your son.

  106. Cat says

    Horrendous! That man should be charged with a crime. I wouldn’t be too put off by no one coming forward to help, though. Most people don’t know what to do, and they were probably in shock like you. Next time, take charge yourself. Don’t wait around for other people to act on your behalf. Ask the checkout person for the manager and have the manager call the police. Make a police report. The police could also access the store’s security system to see the incident replayed.

  107. Bridgett Cash says

    Wow! What a horrible thing to have happened. I’m so mad that anyone would do that to your son. What a complete monster that man was.

  108. says

    This was an amazing post! Everyone should read. I am glad it was shared for me. You are so right. This is going on rampant every day. I am glad you stood up to him. I dont know I would be as calm. Stuff like that makes me see red.
    I applaud you and my son and both believe in pink.

  109. says

    I don’t even know what to say. I can and can’t believe this happened to you. I would have been a screaming mess beside you. You did right to stay by your babies and not do anything. But I have a group of mamas who, I know for sure, would we have been there with you, would have chased down and destroyed that ignorant son of a bitch. I could effing scream.

  110. FallofWinter says

    I just want to inform you that it is EXTREMELY dangerous to place a baby carseat on the top of a cart (buggy). The whole cart could tip causing serious injury or death to the infant. Make a better choice.

    On the main topic, if this story is legit, you should have filed a report immediately. Especially if it was “Walmart” they would have cameras that most likely caught the incident.

    • FUCK YOU says

      Really? Out of everything you have to bring that up? & Her son was assaulted and some bigot prick took a stab at her parenting already & you want to take another stab and tell her to make better choices? STFU & stop being a bitch. She is upset about her son & some bitch like you has to say something… Wow.. Never fails we always have at-least one dumb cunt wanting to start fucking shit.. Stupid ass bitch!

  111. Nancy says

    Hmmm . . . I totally understand your reaction, as well as your reluctance to take further steps. I’ve gotten to that point in my life where I WILL stand up and say something. Until we recognize that everyone is equal, has something unique to offer, we’ll get no further as a society. I wish you well – keep using your writing gift to let those angry feelings flow out of you – they’ll do you no good bottled up inside!
    :)

  112. says

    Call the police. That’s what they’re there for. They’ll be able to ask Walmart for the tapes. They only keep them for so long so you need to act immediately. If this happened as you said it did then this is the sort of man who will do much worse in private. I’m so sorry this happened to you and your son. Please call the police immediately. They’re more likely to take it seriously if you don’t delay anymore.

  113. says

    I’m so deeply sorry this happened to you. I’ve read through the feedback and have something important to add: you did nothing wrong at all. There have been some unkind, speculative comments made — thankfully, they’re the minority — and they’re absolutely wrong. It’s dreadful, as a parent, to find yourself in a shocking situation like this — certainly it knocked you off guard: after all, you’d been having a lovely time until the confrontation. Your reaction was appropriate — and writing the events down can be a great way to start processing them.

    If you’re anything like me, you’re probably feeling very violated right now and that’s absolutely normal. This happened to you all: you, Dexter, and your baby son. The man not only focused his bigotry and hatred on Dexter, but also fired it at you — he insinuated, after all, that he was “rescuing” your child from bad parenting and that you didn’t know what you were doing. In fact, the message was “your choices are going to get your kid killed.” That’s a terrible, horrible thing to say to anybody — his actions and his words were both completely wrong.

    I would strongly encourage you to go to the police. Walmart stores are usually under very close surveillance and I’d bet this was indeed caught on tape. I know it can be really harrowing to think of putting yourself and your child through a full-blown investigation, but the benefits are twofold (at least):

    1) The man in question will very likely be found and made to face his unacceptable actions. These stories usually hit the headlines on a nationwide basis — as they ought to — and offenders are usually caught.

    2) Your speaking out will help other parents and children who might otherwise remain silent. Silence is a bully’s best friend: if you stay quiet, they can continue to bully and abuse. If you speak out, their actions are brought into the light and their hiding places disappear. Light is the enemy of abuse.

    What you and your children had to endure was terrible. Go on mama — go to the police and seek justice for your family. Your sons will see a strong, courageous woman in action: they’ll learn that women deserve respect, and that standing up for yourself and for your family is the right thing to do. You can do this: you’ll have plenty of support.

  114. Erin says

    I am so sorry this happened to you and your son , and I am so glad for your children that they have you for a mama.

  115. Megan says

    Please update us on whether or not you choose to contact the store’s management or your local authorities. It’s understandable that in the moments that followed this idiot’s serious lack of respect and boundaries, you would simply want to leave and process what had happened in a safe (non-public) place.
    I don’t know what type of area you live in, but it’s possible that the inaction of those around you is simply a symptom of people trying to mind their own business. Not very noble, but perhaps they didn’t know how to approach and help in that situation.
    But I highly encourage you to bring it to the store’s attention, as much for the sake of others who may encounter him, as for your own sense of justice. Whether they choose to take action by tracking him down or flagging him for future issues, or if they do nothing, you will at least have done your part to not stay silent on behalf of yourself and your child. You don’t necessarily need to sensationalize it with media attention and it shouldn’t be about placing blame with the store or employees, but I think you have a responsibility as a parent to protect your own kid from future harm and to help protect others who may be find themselves in similar circumstances. You’ve done all you can do when you say to the store, “please keep an eye out for this man, and if similar incidences arise, you have good reason to refuse him service as a customer.” You could probably even request to be informed if they see him again or if he causes any more trouble (perhaps he’s a regular customer and there are already complaints against him). Especially if you are appalled by the lack of attention by your fellow customers in your own moment of vulnerability, it would be hypocritical not to come forth to try to ensure that it doesn’t happen again to someone else.

  116. says

    As shocked as I am by this incident, I’m even more shocked by some of the bizarre comments here. “Homosexuals frolic in their gayness like they are in the land of annalie puffing the magic dragon” ?!! WTF?

    • says

      I know, right! I replied to that comment in detail. Unfortunately, when people aren’t allowed to express feelings as children — and I’m sure that man was not — they come out as vitriolic and harmful responses after incidents like these. It’s sad, but we’ve got to remember that in fact, these angry, hateful people are the ones who suffer the most. After all, they aren’t even comfortable with themselves, let alone other people.

  117. Mary says

    This is terrible and I can’t believe this could have happened. You are a good mom for allowing your son to be who he is and for stepping in to protect him from the ignorant sob. It would have been wise to snap a picture of the bigot and mail it directly to the police or child protective services

  118. says

    Holy freaking lord, I am so sorry that happened to you and your son. That is spectacularly scary. I’m glad everyone is okay and you can talk to others about it. At least it will get the rest of us thinking about what we would do in a similar situation and help us prepare for it.

  119. says

    Fully support going to the store, getting tape, and exposing on TV.

    You did everything you could and I completely support you.

    First, assaulting your child –
    Second, the injustice to you.
    This is Gay bashing and a good example of it – we Gay adults sometime still get this treatment but in other ways and usually more subtle -but it’s the same -but a two year old – horrible.

  120. says

    I absolutely agree with the ladies saying you should report it and also tell news sources. This is in no way, shape or form acceptable on ANY level. You are a much bigger person than I am, because I literally would have beat the every loving shit out of him. NOONE touches my child, and they sure as hell will NOT talk to me or my child in that manner. Your son is beautiful! I absolutely agree, he can be whatever he grows up to be, or chooses to be, whichever is the case. He is still a person! He deserves respect!

  121. Bram says

    As a father of a 2 year old myself I am appalled. I am so sorry you and your son had to experience that. When I was that age my favorite color was pink. My son often dresses up in his mother’s clothes, as I had done when I was his age. To be 2 years old is to be adventurous and brave. Courageous to test new things. Adults find fear and worry about the future too much. A kid knows nothing about sexuality and life choices yet. They know they like colors and smells and furry/frilly/slimy things because they make them smile. All we should do as HUMANS is to nurture their zest for life and let them enjoy this precious life. I don’t know Dexter but I love him. Anybody who doesn’t love him and what he stands for isn’t human. Keep saving the World Dexter.

  122. Christi says

    This needs to be reported, This is NOT okay and will never be okay. You need to report this to the store, fill out a police report, watch the surveillance and prosecute. Unless this is stopped, this vile piece of filth will continue to do this. You are better than this and so is Dexter.

  123. Erinn says

    Katie,
    I am so sorry this happened to you and to your poor, sweet son. It is disgusting and heartbreaking. I actually cried reading about your terrible experience. I really wish I had have been there because I definately would have said/done something.
    What is wrong with people. I cannot believe that back-woods, low-rent, piece of sh*t thought it would be ok to verbally and physically attack your 2-year old child. And for what? Wearing a headband? Being a funny, curious, normal kid?
    I’m a new mom and I can’t imagine that ever happening!
    You should tell this to your local tv news, radio news and newspaper.

  124. Angel says

    Let Dexter know it’s ok to wear headbands. I’m a father of 6 children, boys and girls, and I wear headbands from time to time just for the fun it. If little man wants to walk around in mom’s dress (or his own) more power to him. Just nothing earth toned, If you’re going out go out in style.

  125. Mommy says

    Someone assaulted your son, and all you can say is “I’m considering it”?!?!??!?!?

    Get your butt to the police station and the store where the incident occurred.

    No one needed to help you because you basically just LET this cretin smack your kid around, make nasty comments, and then walk out. If you aren’t willing to help your son and yourself, why should others stick their nose into it?

    • says

      “Let” him? Really? How could she have stopped the guy? I mean seriously, who does that kind of thing in a store? It’s not like she’d have expected it!

      Seriously, get off your high horse and think about it for a minute, Mr/Ms Perfect over there.

  126. says

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. I am outraged and in tears. You have my support and solidarity in every way. Continue to let your son grow and flourish and be who he needs and wants to be. You are beautiful, mama, and so is your son. That man is filled with hate and he has to live with himself.

  127. Jody Wilson says

    I don’t know you but I’m proud of what you did. The guy needs a huge dose of LIVE AND LET LIVE. Fortunately his yesteryear mentality is being steadily replaced by a more tolerant society. Maybe after reading your story, people will be more ready next time to step in. (I’ll try and give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn’t know exactly what was going on.) More and more parents like you who just let their child “be themselves” are such a breath of fresh air !

  128. Brandi Stacey says

    Katie, I’m so sorry that you and your precious children were subjected to this unconscionable behavior. I agree with others who posted about airing your story on the news. I’m sure so many mothers and fathers have experienced the same abuse towards their children as you and yours have. Speaking out and bringing more awareness could ultimately help others. The world needs more parents like you and your husband who love their children unconditionally and who allow them to explore the world without gender stereotyping. You are an inspiration.

  129. allyall says

    I just want to say your son is ADORABLE in the headband and I agree with you. It was not okay for a random guy to do that and say that stuff to your child. Wow.

  130. Jennifer says

    Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. The guy probably gave your kid a funny look and you imagined the rest. This entire story is a typical feminist’s wet dream. You get lots of attention, you get to blame a man for being evil, bigoted, homophobic, etc.

    Fact is, it didn’t happen. You’re dishonest for posting this, but you’re okay with that. Feminism isn’t about facts, it’s about results. Lying is perfectly fine as long as you accomplish your goals, right?

    Once again, there is absolutely no way this happened. Nobody touched your kid, and nobody called him a “f*cking f*ggot”. I actually believed the story up until you added that part. Next time you post a fake story for attention, try to keep it realistic.

  131. D.G. says

    I probably would have run the guy down with the cart and then kicked him repeatedly in the head. The best lessen for my kids? Okay perhaps not but RIP if you ever lay your hands on a child in my sight. Then the local police could have used surveillance cameras to try and find me after the fact.
    I think you sound like a strong and loving mom and I’m sure you did all that you could have in that moment. Most children don’t know that you can’t change genders by changing clothes until they are about five years old. they have an innate sense of their own gender but in this case clothes make the little man or little woman and dressing up shows great imaginations and love of their parents. You should be proud of Dexter and the job you are doing as a mother.
    As to the animal that attacked him I would go to the police and be very clear that you want to file a report and will press charges for assault if he is found. Ask at they pull surveillance shots from the store for that day and say you’ll be happy to look for the man. They likely have cameras on entrances and exists and on the registers. Based on the time you saw him you can estimate the time he arrived/left and get his photo coming in/leaving. If you can get him at the register and he paid with a credit card they can pull the card form the time he used that register and they’ll get him.
    Push this issue. This sub-human needs to spend time behind bars for thinking he has the right to ever touch a person without their permission and worse yet to abuse a child. Show up with Dexter in one of your frilliest skirts and a lovely pink tiara and wave as you point him out and watch the animal froth (okay likely not a good idea for Dexter’s sake but I’d like to see the a-hole go nuts in front of the cops). Stand up for Dexter and every other decent man, woman and child that this beast will encounter along his existence and tell him none of you will stand for his intrusion in your lives. If he mis-steps decent people everywhere have ways of dealing with him. He stands on the wrong side of the law and the long side of history, heck the wrong side of evolution. Tell him to drag his knuckles home and stay away form real people until he learns how to act around them.
    Just my two cents. Do what you think is best for you and your family. I’m a dog who doesn’t give up easily on my bone and my partner always fears public confrontation when someone else acts out because I speak up. I’d like my kids to know that their mom is the one who raised the scene for what she felt was right. I come form a long line of women who spoke their mind…loud and proud but not well behaved in that sense.
    Much love and support to you.

  132. Suzanne Summers says

    Whiniest bunch of bullshit I have read in ages.

    “IM SO VIOLATED IM SUCH A VICTIM”

    You make me sick. Its a child, not a social experiment, so treat him like such. Ok?

  133. Jake says

    If someone really hit your child, you would have called the police. This story has all the elements of the average feminist story. The evil man comes and does something while the woman is helpless. If this really did happen, and you just stood by and let him get away, then you’re at fault for not reporting it.

    By failing to report the crime, you’re complicit in it yourself. So why do feminists support child abuse?

  134. Fuuuuuuuuuuuu says

    You are turning your Son into a fucking faggot. What the fuck is wrong with you people.

  135. says

    The only thing I will say about no one coming to your rescue: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
    You can’t win in this situation. If you resorted to violence and attacked the man, who would have been caring for you two year old and 5 month old sons? You did what you could in a crazy situation.
    Thank you for sharing and getting us all talking.

  136. says

    PLEASE, PLEASE… follow up with the store about this issue. It’s wonderful that you defended your son, but it’s obvious from your blog that you swallowed some feelings of anger and helplessness regarding the situation. Helplessness can be so disabling, and I think (as do the other commenters on here) that it would do you good to get some closure regarding this. It’s important not to let this be “just another story” of bigotry in America. Make this as public as possible, so that the store will get pro-active, so that the local PD will be put on alert, so that other mothers will be made aware, and so that hopefully that A-hole will be admonished by someone who recognizes his stupid face from TV. You fought for your son… but we all need to fight to make sure all our sons grow up in a better world.

  137. says

    I am sorry you had to endure that. At least Dexter didn’t seem affected by this. Although he may be too young to understand it all.

    But, you have very good discription on here of that guy and I would report it to Walmart and the police. Tourist area or not, I woul d bet that guy rarely wears anything else and should be found fairly easily. He needs to be arrested and tossed into a prison, where other prisoners, by their own code, do not like childe or women abusers and will dole out their justice on him. And, he would derserve everything he got. Please report this soon, have him found and arrested and if asked if you want to press charges … please do so.

    I am ashamed of the human race to know there are still people like this roaming around. That man had cause or right to say or do any of what he did! Savages like that need to be taught some lessons by other people who can “teach” him. In prison.

  138. says

    It’s quite possible that something like this could have happened, but clearly the consensus in the online world is that it did not. The fact that you posted this story to Reddit (of all places), and then pulled it when too many questions arose, make many people suspicious that this is a hoax
    meant to drive up your numbers. The easiest thing to do would be to ask Walmart to release the security videos, and file a police report.

    • Cheryl says

      Any time anybody posts “Redditors think” the immediate reaction is “Sunil Tripathi”and then tune out whatever other bleating comes next in the post.

  139. says

    What part of this story is true? None of it? Oh okay.

    Making up ridiculous stories for your blog, you’re really contributing to human kind.

  140. Misty says

    This is so heartbreaking my sweet boy is 6 he is just like yours like pink tutus and dolls and things that sparkle anything that is pretty and girly. You are a better mother then myself because now that he goes to school I don’t let him wear things like that because he will get teased. I few weeks ago I found him in the middle of the night hiding in the closet wearing his sisters tutus begging me not to look at him. It broke my heart. I never say he is bad or wrong for wanting liking these things BUT im not always going to be there to protect him and this scares the heck out of me.

  141. says

    I’m so sorry that you and your little man had to encounter such an @$$ hat! He’s 2 for goodness sakes and to feel it was his right to touch your child, remove his headband, call him a faggot and proceed to tell the 2 of you “he’ll get shot for that someday”….WOW! If that had happened to me I’d probably done something similar. You’d be in such shock at the gaul of that man that you wouldn’t know quite WHAT to do. You showed your son how to be strong in the face of hatred and you stuck up for him. You were not only his mommy but his hero, although he didn’t really get what ACTUALLY was going on. I do agree that you should make a police report though. You might not think it will do much BUT it will do something…and that it’s better than nothing, at least you will have tried! I think his headband was VERY cute <3 Give him a big squeeze!

  142. Mom of a Toddler says

    With all due respect, I cannot believe you didn’t report it to the store and call the police right then and there. If someone had touched my child, the cops would have taken me to jail because I would have ripped that man’s arm off. As far as your son is concerned, I agree whole heartedly that at 2 years old children are completely unaware of their gender and what it means to be a boy or girl, let alone anything having to do with sexual preference.

  143. Eric says

    Go to the police station, file a report. If it is on video they have to give it to the police. Not following through tells the world that picking on children who might turn out to be gay is OK. There is too much research that proves that genetics play a role in our sexuality and the fact that this dumb redneck clearly has less than a high school education needs to be brought to justice for assaulting your child. That is child abuse, and not reporting it could be seen as a form of neglect since you have made it now public. As a gay man I can tell you, I was horribly picked on as a child, teenager and then into adult hood. I often tried to kill myself over the amount of verbal and physical abuse I had to endure as ac child for being different. We don’t choose our sexuality, our sexuality chooses us. This debate can be waged for ever, however the point of the matter is this. If you are not taking action to bring the man responsible for attacking your child and committing an act of nothing less than a hate crime against a kid, then you are doing your child nothing to help in protecting him when the day comes when he does come out of the closet.

  144. Carla says

    I’m definitely sorry for what you experienced and that man was in the wrong for what he did to both your child and you but your first mistake was even going to Wal-Mart. If you don’t want yourself or children exposed to the bottom of the barrel of society don’t frequent a well known place for such people, behavior and beliefs. While I applaud you saying that you don’t judge others choices in who they love Wal-Mart sure does. Why would you want to support a business who so blantantly opposes your beliefs and opinions?Why would you be surprised that you experienced bigotry and homophobia while shopping there?

  145. Lamma says

    If I were in your situation, I may have done something different. But I wasn’t, and I can just as easily see myself being completely stunned at what just happened, the way you were. Feel ok about how you handled the situation, and please don’t let these judgmental folks make you question yourself or your level of care for your child or other children.

    Also, I agree with you about being stunned by other’s lack of action or reaction. Yes, nobody owes you anything, but I feel like we should live in a society where the expectation should be that people give a damn. THAT should be the norm. There is nothing wrong with having that expectation. Hang in there, and so sorry you had that experience.

  146. David says

    If you don’t have a criminal suit, you may have a civil suit for battery or intentional infliction of emotional distress. The first thing to do would be file a police report. The police may or may not do anything, but file a report. The next thing to do would be to send notice to the store to save the security camera footage to prevent spoliation of evidence. I understand they may delete the videos everyday. The person could possibly be identified from this footage. Even if the police don’t act, if you can verify his identity, you may be able to file for damages. Consult an attorney.

  147. Jenn says

    I don’t know what to say. I am hurt for you, for your beautiful little boy and at the same time – buoyed by the only thing that gets me through the bad days… “He will never remember this. You will never forget it”

    It is our job to show our children love for all people and you are doing an amazing job of it. I can’t say that I would have been as composed as you were.

    • moony239 says

      you are shameless and revolting. i pray your children don’t grow up gay, caleb, because your attitude is pathetically narrow-minded and ignorant. compassion is something you are sorely lacking, and to post a hateful comment like that on this woman’s page? come on. clearly you have nothing better to do.
      to the author of the blog post: my heart goes out to you. nothing is more infuriating than being confronted with such unbelievable injustice and hate, and being too stunned and shocked to react. you couldn’t’ve been expected to do anything, considering you had two babies with you, but had things been different i would advice getting his license plate information and reporting his behavior!

  148. says

    This fired up my Papa Bear rage. Anyone trying that with Little Danger is going to have immediate dentistry issues. It is only acceptable to touch someone’s kid without permission to sweep them away from charging hippos or runaway buses.
    The “getting shot” line ratchets him up from a simple asshat to an ass-habadasher, and I kind of hope he trips into a garden weasel someday soon. Thank you for sharing, and know that there are a growing number of people who find clowns like this despicable.

  149. Nick Altieri says

    I think you should report it to the store ASAP . They should have video for a week. Videos are digital and time stamped. Matched with your receipt time stamp and you get the moron’s picture. File an assault and battery charge, he committed both. Best of luck.

  150. says

    I’m so sorry that you and Dexter had to endure this kind of treatment. It makes me sad and afraid that there are still people like this in the world. It also makes me doubly glad that my two daughters are being raised to know that love is love — gay, straight or otherwise. I just hope that those of us who know this will be louder and stronger than those who don’t.

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are a very brave woman indeed, and Dexter is very lucky to have you for his mom.

  151. Lisa says

    I just wanted to let you know, from over here in the UK, that I shared your story to my facebook page and have asked others to read. You and Dexter must have been terrified, and I really feel for you. I hope you know (and am sure you do) that the man was the freak in this situation. I really hope that you do take it further, and talk to the police, even if you fear nothing will be done. At least then you’ll know that you did everything you could have done. I have a two year old son, and I am sure that if something similar happened to him/us, I would most likely have reacted in the same way. Please ignore all the trolls….

  152. Natasha Mai says

    That is completely horrible!!.. I am a very overprotective mom sometimes, there is no WAY that guy would have ever even gotten close to my child, in fact he probably would have walked away after scolding him for asking a rhetorical question with malicious intent.

    You poor mama!! Little Dexter is a beautiful child!!
    I too have a Dexter who is 9mths old, nice to see another!

    P.S carseats should never go on top of the shopping carts!! Very dangerous!

  153. Melanie says

    That is horrible and disgusting. :( I’m sorry you had to go through that. And I can’t believe no one came in and helped you!! If I would have encountered this, I would have been in that mans face in a heartbeat! I mean honestly! Your son seems to be just a normal two year old. I played baseball and my brother played dress up. And nobody cared.
    That man sickens me.

  154. Fred The Red says

    If this story is true, then you owe it to your son to file a police report and do what you can to make sure it doesn’t happen to another kid.

  155. chris jones says

    Bravo to you and your superhero, adorable, brave individual, glorious, healthy son. I read your story and, well, cried a bit. Innocence and individuality are two of the most precious and all too often, fleeting aspects of childhood. Anyone who cannot appreciate that and, who insists on forcing his hateful, stereotypic, homophobic views on a CHILD is cruel beyond comprehension.
    Your son need not be labeled at age two in any way other than these terms: adorable, loving, self-aware, free of the ultra conservative venom that would aim to frighten him out of any future possibility of non-macho behavior and apparel, let alone possibly accepting who he might be IF he were to realize much later on that he might not be heterosexual. Just ‘might’. The headband is no indicator of anything; sexual preference, fashion style, politics..it’s a small child who appreciates colorful things that are fun and make him stand out from the crowd.
    As an affirmed gay man, married these fifteen years to a wonderful ex air force serviceman, I am offended beyond words at what happened to you and your son. It is hard for me, at my age, to take comments like that…but a child, still discovering himself in a million ways, innocent, open, trusting, sociable..experiencing that? Again, I can’t help but cry. For all of us, straight and gay, who value self expression and suffer the pain of rejection and humiliation for no good reason.
    Your boy may look upon this as a harsh, chilling, but useful gift as he grows. He now knows that all the mean, evil-doers aren’t in comic books or cartoons and their weapons aren’t always guns or magical powers; words hurt too. He can teach his playmates and buddies as he grows what he learned from that awful, bearded brute. Just be sure to also show him this note and all the others that show love for him and what he did and how his mommy defended him. For every mean homophobic hater, there are thousands of us who love one another for what we are and who we are. And your boy seems especially lovable. God bless you both!

  156. Rini6 says

    First of all, Dexter is wonderfully lucky to have a great mom like you. Secondly, I don’t know of reporting this would be helpful but of this guy has a rep for this sort of thing it might be. There may be other people who are tired of his behavior.

    Thirdly, if your budget allows any other options, I would think about staying out of wal marts. Just saying.

  157. says

    Someone just posted this on FB and I have to say I was crying as soon as I read what that man did to you and Dexter. I cannot believe he actually did that. I hope he doesn’t have kids–God help them if he does. You should NEVER lay your hands on someone else’s child in that manner. EVER. And then to call him such a nasty word! He’s TWO. So what if he was wearing a headband?? I think if I had been there I would’ve first picked up the headband and put it back on Dexter’s head and then given you a pat and told you to try and not be bothered by bigoted people like him (I know that’s easier said than done sometimes). I’m truly sorry you had this happen to you.

  158. Nicole says

    First off — I am SO sorry that this happened to you and your son. Even if you don’t press charges, sharing your story has reminded me of the importance in being a good Samaritan and stepping up to support someone when they need it. Someone else should have told him he was out of line … and someone should have at least muttered an, ‘Are you okay?”. I feel like, as parents in this society, we let you and Dexter down.

    I hope you’ll find the courage to talk to the police AND go back to the store to tell the manager what happened. It’s hard in the moment to know how to react — lots of people on here have the ‘solution’, but I think when push comes to shove, they’d stand there baffled as well.

    My 3-year old son also loves Dora & wears a devil-horned headband out in public … while it’s not flowery, it’s still a headband (which is typically thought of for girls) — but who really cares? They’re kids! It’d be great if the world could lighten up… even for just a bit.

    Best regards,
    A concerned mom in Canada

  159. Sandra says

    Stores do have cameras for shoplifters. I’d go to the store and see if they have anything on that part of the store. If I’m correct, they erase the videos after so many days. I wouldn’t wait. This is a matter of actual child assault!! That man is lucky he didn’t encounter me. He wouldn’t be walking right now and I would be in jail. No one, and I mean NO ONE touches my kids and gets away with it.

  160. Alexi Rubalcaba says

    i’m speechless… the one positive thing that I can contribute, however, is that Dexter has one thing (among many) that many, many children do NOT have– and that is a mother who loves him FIERCELY. He will never see that man again- thank goodness!! Easier said than done- but be grateful. Grateful you’re not related to the guy, grateful you will never see him again, and grateful that your precious little man has you and your husband to show him what love really is. Dexter won’t remember it- but you will.. and it’s a burden you may always carry.. but find calmness in knowing he has you, he’s happy & healthy- and that’s all he needs :)) keep your head up- Dexter needs a strong mama to take care of him!

  161. Nathan says

    I like how you express bewilderment at the fact that no one came over to help you or your son, and then proceeded to… Well, do nothing. Whether this man actually hurt your son or not isn’t the point. He called your son a disgusting word AND THEN STRUCK HIM! Injured or not, that asshole doesn’t deserve to just get away with that. But you let him. You basically reinforced that it’s an okay thing for him to do that.

    And yet you wonder why no one bothered to help or comfort you or your son? Why should anyone help you, when you’re unwilling to help yourself or your son?

    • Melissa says

      Stop victimizing the victim. Shame on you. It was a shocking encounter. She stepped between her kid and the jerk and remained calm.

      You attacking her makes you a troll and just as guilty as the jerk in Walmart.

    • moony239 says

      and what, pray tell, would you have done? she has a toddler and a five-month-old child with her. she can’t exactly chase the guy down and beat him. get over yourself.

  162. Melissa says

    I’m sorry you went through that awful situation. Please don’t let anyone make you feel bad about whatever you did or didn’t do. It was a scary and brief situation and you reacted calmly and protectively.

    Your son sounds like an awesome kid. You sound like an awesome mom.

    At least take comfort in knowing that your kind and well-informed world view will assure that your two kids will not turn out to be so scathingly ignorant and volatile as the d-bag in Walmart.

    Big hugs to you and your family.

  163. John says

    Katie,

    First, what a beautiful blog–I’m jealous of the layout, the color, and the dedication you’ve made so obvious to yourself and your family through the sites maintenance.

    I understand your being overwhelmed and wanting to move on. That being said, I’m a 29 year old, partnered gay man and living my life “normally”–if such a thing exists–is difficult enough without people like that gorilla walking around and violating your and other people’s security in the name of preventing “the spread of homosexuality”.

    Sometimes, I want to ignore that my marriage rights are constantly in the news. Sometimes I want to ignore that there are people like me in Russia, who have found love, and are being hurt–publicly, politically, and inhumanly–because of who they are. Most of the time, I’d like to ignore that, in my own country, in cities like New York, considered hubs of civilization the world over, gay men are murdered by people like good ol”cutoff-sleeves there; not because of anything they’ve done, but because of how they walk, gesticulate, who they sleep with, what they sound like and, most important, who they love.

    We all talk about it. It gets on the news. Everyone is in an uproarious anger…for a week…maybe a month. Then nothing happens.

    I do know you’re not responsible for fixing the world; that, in fact, your responsibilities are vast and time consuming already, that you have a family, that you just want to get back to your blog and your life. But, I’d ask as favor–to me, to so many other people that have had to endure so much–please don’t ignore this. Please make people see that touching your child, using homosexuality as a weapon, that threatening the life and security of your child and of an entire culture that has been bleeding for decades, is no longer okay.

    Please do something…

    For your son and yourself–
    For me and the people I love–
    For the men and women in Russia–
    And for the families of those that we’ve already lost.

    Thank you,

    John

  164. says

    What a disgusting, disgusting person. I can no even BELIEVE that there are people out there brazen enough to do that. I’m impressed at your control and thank you so much for sharing this with the world. Things do need to change, and this just shows how bad it has become. It’s a hot button issue right now, but like you, I don’t see a reason for it. Probably because there isn’t one. I am sick just thinking that someone would do this to help define their version of “manhood,” which is such a foul version to begin with. Thanks again for sharing.

  165. Cara says

    Katie,
    Assault can leave us breathless and unable to move. I understand why you haven’t gone to the police yet and have instead chosen to write about the experience. When you can catch your breath, please do as others have suggested and go to the police to find and punish him. He’s a bully and he’ll continue to assault people until he’s punished for his behavior and hopefully will get some counseling to straighten himself out a bit. He may be hurting others and he needs to be stopped. I know it will be difficult to relive the experience over and over again, but in the end, hopefully, you’ll feel better for taking this sad excuse for a human off the streets. Hang in there sweetie and keep us posted. You have lots of support here. Love and hugs from a Grandma who makes a point of not allowing bullies to bully!

  166. Rachel says

    Everyone here needs to share this story. It needs to go viral. This is the kind of man who will surely become violent, if he hasn’t already.

    By the way, I also have a 2-year-old son named Dexter who digs wearing headbands.

  167. TN_Debi says

    I would suggest that you make a plan for rude encounters of the redneck kind. If it happened once, it will probably happen again (sorry to say). I am a reactionary person. Had this occurred where I could see it, I would have gone to jail. I can’t abide bigotry of any form but to be so vile to a child is unforgiveable to me. Although your son is only 2 the fact that a random stranger removed his headband in disgust may be something he will remember that may affect him in the future. I would have a talk (age appropriate, of course) about respect and manners with him and include him in the plan of how we deal with rude strangers. I, unfortunately, am not good at positive interactions with rudeness, but there is a Facebook page called my princess boy and his mom seems quite good in dealing with those situations. I regret that no one stepped up in your defense. My son has been raised better and I take comfort in knowing he is a man that would stand up against a bully. As would the rest of our family.
    Again I’m sorry you and your child were bullied, I hope you find comfort in the fact that so many find it abhorrent.

  168. Melanie says

    Hi Katie,
    I just wanted to say I’m sorry you experienced this ordeal, and that, for what it’s worth, I think you handled it admirably and told your story well. Planning to keep in touch with your blog. Best of luck in however you choose to proceed, and by the way, your little man is adorable, headband or no.

  169. says

    How horrible. Who cares if a 2 year old wants to wear a headband . If someone would have done something like that to my child, he wouldn’t have walked away.

  170. Mary says

    OMG… what a jackass… I am glad that was all he did! And I do not blame you a bit for the shock you were in that temporarily immobilized you! I would have been livid and shaking as well! I say you decide what level of reaction the two of you want to pursue and do just that… because, ultimately, who cares about the open opinions of others?? YOU are the only one who has to feel okay with what happens from here!

  171. Anne Billman says

    I don’t even have the words to express how sad this makes me! So sorry you and your sweet son had to experience this. It breaks my heart and I can’t believe that not one person offered you support. What is wrong with some people?…..

  172. sharie says

    If this stranger is willing to hit a two year old child he has never met (in public no less ) then there is no doubt in my mind that he has, and will continue to, hurt vulnerable people that are close to him. I empathize with your situation but feel there is a social obligation here. Please drum up the supports you need to report this abuser.

  173. Tristan says

    As a gay person myself, I see this kind of homophobia all the time. However, I’ve never heard nor seen it happen to a two year old!!! This man does not only respect your child who is two, but does not respect you as a mother, a woman, or a human being. What he did was wrong on many levels and I hope you never have to go through that again. This world needs more tolerant parents, like yourself, and maybe will have less “manly men” like that jerk. I would consider informing the police and possibly not returning to that store again. Peace and love to you and your family.

  174. sharie says

    Katie,
    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    If this stranger is willing to hit a two year old child he has never met (in public no less ) then there is no doubt in my mind that he has, and will continue to, hurt vulnerable people that are close to him. I empathize with your situation but feel there is a social obligation here. Please drum up the supports you need to report this abuser. You have an opportunity to stand up for other two year olds. Be the supportive witness you wish you had at Wal-Mart.

  175. sharie says

    If this stranger is willing to hit a two year old child he has never met (in public no less ) then there is no doubt in my mind that he has, and will continue to, hurt vulnerable people that are close to him. I empathize with your situation but feel there is a social obligation here. Please drum up the supports you need to report this abuser. You have an opportunity to stand up for other two year olds. Be the supportive witness you wish you had at Wal-Mart.

  176. Kara says

    I am furious for you. So sorry this happened. It is not ok. Please know that there are lots of people who would have stepped in or piped up if they saw this happen. I wish I could have.

  177. Miriam says

    Oh what a real treat it is to visit walmart these days. I think you should absolutely file a report. I was listening to a program yesterday about some local folks being falsely arrested for “crimes against nature” when no crime had been committed… A caller asked & this is a very good point… Lawsuit can certainly influence behavior! If this sad excuse for a man cran’t figure out on his own how to be a good human, maybe a nice bit of legal trouble would help him keep his hands to himself.

  178. Miriam says

    Oh what a real treat it is to visit walmart these days. I think you should absolutely file a report. I was listening to a program yesterday about some local folks being falsely arrested for “crimes against nature” when no crime had been committed… A caller asked & this is a very good point… Lawsuit can certainly influence behavior! If this sad excuse for a man can’t figure out on his own how to be a good human, maybe a nice bit of legal trouble would help him keep his hands to himself.

  179. Megan says

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. People can say all they want about the should’ve could’ve would’ve but I can understand how paralyzing this experience would have been. I can easily say like anyone else on here all the things I would have done but in reality I don’t know if I would have done anything else that you did. I probably would’ve been too shocked that it had happened to begin with and I’m not sure I’d have had the courage to hold it in and not cry on the spot. Thank you for having the courage to write about this and expose how truly nasty discrimination and homophobia is.

  180. says

    This left me feeling sick to my stomach. I am so sorry this happened to you and to your beautiful son. It is shocking and so very very sad that there are people like that man in the world and that there is still such intolerance. I know your child will be taught the values of tolerance, acceptance and love – lessons that man and teenagers in your story obviously missed out on. Shame on them. And let your son keep rockin that headband, or skirt or whatever else he wants!

  181. Kate says

    I cannot believe that happened to you. I would have caused such a scene if that happened to my child. Pardon my language, but that man is a fucking asshole! I am so sorry for little Dexter.

  182. Valerie says

    I have a daughter rather than a son. She is 6. She loves fairies and pink, and also helping Daddy build our new garden shed, and watching Transformers. I am trying to imagine what I would do if a grown man approached her and interacted with her as if she were a “woman” rather than a little girl, or if a grown woman came up to her, hit her and took way her toy cars. It’s a similar thing, isn’t it? I’d probably feel exactly like you – angry, hurt, and scared. No child should be forced to try to understand sexuality on adult terms before they’re ready to.

  183. Tyranna McCann says

    Just wanted to let you know “Katie Vyktoriah” that I don’t believe your story for one second. I shared it on my blog, and the majority of the readers there didn’t believe it either. Sounds like you’re looking for attention and boy, you will get it. I plan on looking into the story further..it seems quite phony.

    The whole thing was over the top, and it was clear your fake story of “intolerance’ was nothing more than a typical liberal making up an outrageous claim in order to garner sympathy. “Oh you poor tolerant, loving, open minded mom!” you want others to say. What you did was no different than Susan Smith rolling her kids into a river and cry “the black man did it!” You not only used your son (his picture too!) to further your political agenda, but also preyed on the naive (and idiotic) who think this really happened. You are not only a shitty person, but a shitty mother. I suggest you stop blogging, stop making up stories and work on being a decent mother. Your kids will grow up to be a dumb liar just like you.

  184. Jaspen Amodeo says

    I haven’t read through all of the comments, but I wholeheartedly agree with Annie:

    “Even if nothing comes of it, you owe it to your son and every other child that has experienced the same thing. Stores have surveillance videos. Report it to the police. A man assaulted your child. If you get blown it off, ask to speak to someone else. Do your homework and find out what the police are obligated to do.”

    No matter if nothing comes of it, but A) you’ll feel better, and B) who knows? maybe something further will be done after all. And that would feel GREAT!

  185. Jenna says

    You have my support. Young boys wearing feminine clothes and accessories is merely healthy role playing and helps them to develop empathy. My 5 year old grandson happily chose to wear a pink graduation outfit at pre-school has been playing with a very pretty pink and sequined purse (he’s now seven) He’s also all boy, rocks at playing rugby (football in your language) is fearless on his skateboard and scooter, pummels and kicks his brother and loves is family (and his chickens) with all his heart. You and your son have been violently assaulted by the man mentioned and most likely he bitterly regrets his own bad treatment as a young child and is too angry to speak about it. I would encourage you to pursue this through the courts, however your society may try to destroy you for speaking up in which case, it is not worth your time xxx

  186. ali says

    First I want to offer my heartfelt apology that that happened to you. I know that if it were me, I would feel the same shock and horror if not more. (I’m an anxious person by nature) many people would say they would’ve done this or done that, but, given the circumstances, its hard to act exactly as you might decide later would have been appropriate. How terrible that you had to go through that. If its any consolation, it seems, and it may just be my wishful thinking, but it seems that this behavior is being deemed less appropriate with each new generation. Your son is absolutely adorable and he’s lucky to have a loving supportive mommy like you. Oh and, completely off subject, but I love the font scheme you have going here!
    love to you and Dexter.

  187. Christopher Mondejar says

    Last I checked, according to the law, the man assaulted a minor. I would press charges and report it to anyone news station that will listen. I would do this not just for your son but for every two year old in the world. No one has the right to touch you without consent. Just as you stated, everyone, even children deserve respect. Please don’t let this end here. If you do, someone else will get hurt. Be the change you’re asking for.

  188. Alexis says

    I totally 100% get your shock that no one said a damn thing, but I’m sure they were also completely SHOCKED and didn’t know how to react. I, for one, would’ve called 911 and followed the guy to get his license plate number and confronted him, but I’m nuts like that. I just think it’s unfair to judge everyone standing around for their inaction. Most people would be completely and utterly frozen due to disbelief.

    And yes, I think you should definitely call your local news station and make a police report.

    Now, what do you do when it’s your husband’s brother who takes your 2-year-old son’s Barbie and says right in front of him, “This is going to make him a faggot” and your FAMILY just sits there, and then gets mad at you for calling him a f^cking asshole?

  189. Megan says

    What an A**HOLE! My almost 4 year old son did and still does all the things you describe your son doing. He has a little sister, but even before she came along- his favorite color was pink, he loves wearing my shoes–the list goes on and on! Now that he knows colors, he will actually tell you he likes purple, but whatever. Pink-purple-blue-green- WHO CARES??

    My son also happens to be autistic. I would go to jail if some idiot treated my son the way they did yours. Thankfully, we don’t run into this kind of people in our very VERY small town. Most people know us, and if they do not know us, they are raised better than to do something so rude to another person.

    I am SO sorry this happened to both of you, but I am glad Dexter has good parents who allow him to just be him. The fact that HE stood up to the man speaks volumes about what wonderful parents you and your husband must be! It shows that he knows it was wrong–you should be proud!

    Keep up the good work, Dexter sounds like a great kid!

  190. pj says

    What this man did was appalling and unacceptable. There is no excuse for that sort of behavior.

    However, I find your line “two old birds came up to tell me just how adorable he was” in direct opposition to “Mark and I are supportive of love in all forms.” Unless the “two old birds” were crows, pigeons or sparrows, it’s a very disrespectful way to describe older women, who were, after all, kind to you.

    If you’re going to be a writer I’d suggest you be careful of the descriptives you choose.

  191. leo says

    I’m sorry this happened – truly. As a mom I think i would be in jail. You cannot blame anyone for not doing anything though….i feel if you would have made a bigger scene someone would have done something. If you would have begun to fling things at him off the shelves a police report would have been made. Police would have been called witnesses would have been available. Why didn’t you do more? Probably for the same reasons people around you did nothing. Pure shock. You owe it to your son to NOW do all you can. Make a police report. Get the video on the local news – start a petition to find the man in the surveillance video as if your son’s life depended on it. Your son deserves at least that! God bless!

  192. Her moor says

    See, Great thing about Texas is, if that man assaulted MY 2-year old in the same manner, and I felt that he was endagering the life of the child, I would blow that mother-f’s head off. Where I live, if you come at a me with intent to cause great bodily harm, wielding a weapon or not, you’re meeting 230 grains of JHP.
    And if the situation wouldn’t warrant deadly force, then you should not claim assault charges in my opinion…..

    I love how well people tend to behave in Texas when they know they are in an area with a large amount of concealed carry license holders. It’s such a nice, safe feeling.

  193. Ruth Breakwell says

    Me and my hubby saw a little boy yesterday walking around our local shops with a boy doll. I actually remarked to my hubby how nice it was to see parents who were happy to allow their boy to carry his doll openly without worrying what people would say. The only time it concerned me was when he was holding it upside down by the leg. I remarked to a lady serving me in the shop that I hoped he would be more gentle with a real baby lol. I didn’t see anyone reacting negatively at all on the 3 occasions we bumped into this lad and his parents. He must have been about 5.
    My little girl is 4 and she loves mermaids, Jake from neverland pirates (can’t be doing with the girl pirate) Dora and Tree fu Tom (not sure if that is anywhere but UK) She adores spiders and digging in dirt as well as glitter and sparkle. Yep, she is a NORMAL kid who does not understand why she should conform to girly stereotypes and tbh neither do I. Keep on letting Dexter be who he is and being the lovely supportive family you are x

  194. says

    What a beautiful family you have. I am outraged for you and your son. Your children are lucky to have you AND your husband as parents.
    <3 Jenni

  195. says

    What a beautiful family you have. I am outraged for you and your son. I can’t believe no one stood up to that man. If you don’t stand up for others, then you are part of the problem. I hope nothing like this happens to you again.Your children are lucky to have you and your husband as parents.
    <3 Jenni

  196. Stephen says

    I’m sure you already are but ignore what this jerk said. Your son is absolutely beautiful! What a stunner!

  197. Jasmine says

    This whole think just really disgusted me how know stood up for you and knowing that you have a 5-month old plus your son who just was verbally and physically assaulted. I have no idea what kind of world we live in, but I am sure that your son will grow up to have a bright and fulfilling future without crazy people like that man. I really hope that man and those people who were watching finds their way to this article so they can see what crappy people they are. Keep spreading love to your children though you are a very strong mother, keep it up <3.

  198. says

    That is bettery and hate crime. He smacked the back of the child’s head, regardless of strength it is considered offensive contact. I hope you contact the store to file an incident report, that way they can pull the video feed just in case you pursue it further.

  199. says

    I am flabergasted, and yet, I’m not. What you came across was indeed a homophobe, but you can bet your bottom $ this jiggling blob of protoplasm is an ALCOHOLIC. THIS is why he had the guts to behave this way! Judging from the huge list of people who’ve replied this is not acceptable behavior to MOST people. My son likes pink. I’m an artist, and I do not discourage my son from liking pink or any color. He has been ridiculed in the first grade because he had a pink lunch box. Ridiculed for wearing purple socks. I tell my son that God gave us all colors to enjoy. Chances are this homophobe is doubting his own masculinity (Oh my!), and is drowning it in a life style known as “alcoholism”. Now I have always been on my guard in stores because I have a spirited child that I do not want falling out of the cart. Furthermore, there are plenty of really nice people, but I’m on guard for the one’s who are not. Obviously this jerk was treated this way as a little one (SAD), and the alcohol helped melt away his barrier for keeping his big offensive mouth shut. If this situation had gone this far for my son and I, I would DEFINITELY lodge a formal complaint with both Wallmart AND the local Police! Someone else said this also. Don’t delay, RUN to do this! Wallmart has security cameras in their parking lots too! The reason no one did anything is because they were in shock! (and they’re timid!). Tell the Police and the store you were in shock. No store, especially Wallmart, wants this for their customer’s. They will hunt down this camoflaged nightmare for you and follow up with an arrest I’m sure. This brute deserves to be held accountable! You have a cute, sweet little boy. Handling it this way will set a great example for your son about a myriad of issues, starting with enhancing feelings of personal power! Get your husband to go too for support, AND because you will not be brushed off or edged out of your rightful stance IF that might occur. They wouldn’t dare. Good luck , and I want to know what happens!

  200. Linzie says

    Your son is absolutely adorable! This story really brought tears to my eyes, I have a 2 year old son as well. I just kept thinking, if this had been my son, I don’t know what I would do honestly! That man had absolutely no right, drinking or not, to say a thing like that about a 2 year old little baby!!!! He needs to apologize to you for being such an a$$hole!!!! Society is so messed up and I really pray for all of our children, they are not going to have a great future I’m afraid. Its appalling that people like this exist in the world. Please keep sharing your story, its touching so many people, even if there are losers who just wanna make fun. YOU HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB MOMMA!!!! Keep it up!

  201. Teri Boots says

    I have an almost 3 year old grandson (the only boy in the family). He loves to wear momma’s heels. Trust me when I say, he is all boy, but loves the sound the shoes make. This does not make him any less a boy. All kids are curious at this age. Momma wears it, why can’t I? That is their way of thinking. I might add, he is being raised by a single lesbian mother. She doesn’t flaunt her lifestyle, but isn’t afraid of it either. She questions herself, just like any other mother out there with their first child. I agree, let him wear what he wants.
    I would like to say, while you were in shock at the time it happened, now that it is over, get it reported. You know what the man looks like. Report it to the police and to Walmart. Don’t let this happen again to someone else’s child. Good luck and congratulations on raising a curious and adorable young man.

  202. Meagan says

    PLEASE please, go to your local police station, describe the man to them and explain what happen! There could possibly be a camera showing that exact moment or even possibly a camera showing him leaving and the public could help identify him! I am so beyond horrified to hear this happened to your son. I am sorry no one came over to comfort you, some people just don’t know what to say or how to help in an unknown situation.

  203. Cami says

    First, I am so sorry this happened and I hope you are feeling better. An overwhelming number of commenters are pushing you to report it. I just want to weigh in on the other side a little.
    None of us can say how we would react in that shocking moment. I know, right now, I am almost in tears thinking about what I would do in the same situation with my son (who is remarkably similar to yours). You can’t escalate these things in the moment; you never know how violent they will become and you have tiny children to not only protect, but set a good example for. I applaud your quick actions and for staying as calm as you did. Well done.
    You then turned to the place where you feel you have a voice and control- your blog. You are spreading the word of this horrific incident, starting a conversation, and shedding light on a problem our society has that needs solved- not just homophobia, but people’s silence against it. I don’t say “inaction” because where ignorance is prevalent, knowledge and conversation can accomplish more in the long run than force. You have taken “action” by adding to the conversation, so I applaud that, too.
    Finally, none of us have any right to push your next moves, just like that man had no right to invade your family’s security. You may find that you do want to pursue charges, that you want this man to face consequences for his actions; if that is what your conscience guides you to, you know you will have support. However, you may find that you don’t want to go that route at all. Perhaps what is best for your son (and you) is to let it be over and to move forward. That is not a disservice or weak in ANY way (as some have suggested). Just like in that moment, escalating this now could cause far more harm to your family’s well-being than people think. It would be great if this guy got what he deserves, but I don’t think people are considering what that would really entail on your part. It seems, though, that you are a thoughtful, reasonable person, and I think you are capable of knowing the best course of action for your family.
    Either way, you can gain control of the situation by nurturing and supporting Dexter so he grows into a confident man who knows right and wrong and can act with the same restraint and forethought his mother does. Do not let internet commenters make you feel like moving forward in your own way is ever wrong.
    You protected your son in the moment- that was right. You have made the incident public. That gives you control of the dialogue. Know that you have support in how you handle the rest, because I can tell you will do what is right for your family, your son, and yourself. That is what matters now. ♥

  204. says

    OMG I would have flipped the f out if a stranger touched my baby much less almost physically assault him and then shout obscenities at hom. I would have called the police right there. I’m sure in the moment you just had too much to deal with and the world is sadly full of jerks like this, but you should have felt okay to press charges. I also would never shop again at a store where something like this was witnessed and no one including a manager didn’t come over to say anything.

  205. Ted says

    That’s terrible. Inexcusable. Homophobic and misogynistic. Guy deserves to some legal attrition for this.

    My only criticism is your sexuality argument. Your 2 year old does have a sexuality, though they may not be tacitly aware of it yet. What if he did grow up to be gay? It doesn’t matter, the argument should not be what, if anything, your child’s sexuality is.. but rather that it is inconsequential and irrelevant. Next time instead of threatening him back, which I understand was a defense mechanism, drop a truth bomb on the idiot. Call him a bigot, and tell him he’s what is wrong with society. Whatever his justification is, which I doubt he could even produce.. it’s undoubtedly flawed. Expose those flaws. Don’t back down and definitely seek professional interference. GL next time, though I hope this incident never recurs.

  206. Sarah Dixon says

    When our son was around 2 he took a incredible liking to our 5 year old daughters “ruby slippers”. They were very sparkly with a tiny heel and he adored the clicking noise they made on the wood floors and cement. I remember when my husband, his daddy, would get home from work, Jake would run down the driveway, seemingly pulled by his large head,lol, in nothing but a diaper and those slippers clacking all the way down!!! I wouldn’t trade that memory for anything!!! And now, he’s 15 and all boy!! People can be idiots!! I’m so sorry that happened to you and your child. <3

  207. says

    oh wow. I can’t even fathom. i’m so sorry that either of you had to go through this. what in the world was that man thinking… or not thinking at all, I guess. we are also supportive of whatever our son chooses to wear… and it’s often a headband like your son, or necklaces and bracelets. I don’t know what i’d do in this situation. just hoping that your little guy didn’t soak up much of the ugly encounter. much love.

  208. helen Fahey says

    OMG..I am lost for words. You really must report this to the authorities. The store I am sure will have a photo of the guy, this is assault. If he can do this to a complete stranger and a child at that, in an open public place, what else can he do.
    I can not understand why on one stepped in either, fear maybe. In today’s world we all try to avoid getting involved. So, so wrong in so many ways. I certainly would have come to any parent in such distress and reported the guy to security.

    Helen (Bulgaria)

  209. says

    I think I’m most impressed by your son’s response – putting his arm out to fend off the man, shouting, stomping his foot, that is a child who knows his boundaries and isn’t afraid to say something when the line has been crossed! Good for him!

  210. says

    I have a friend whose young child was also recently assaulted at a Wal’-Mart. She also left the store without reporting it. But later, he decided to report it to police. They DID catch it on surveillance cameras and they DID identify the man. I would certainly peruse charges against this homophobic, violent piece of shit.

  211. says

    Okay: now that tons of people have filed in here and given their opinions, let’s break it all down:

    You were terrified & frozen. Public attacks do that, especially when they happen to people with enough privileges to not have to think of that as a possible every day occurrence. But the initial thing is over now.

    You’ve had a chance to process on your blog and Facebook. And congrats! With the appearance of your first trolls, you’ve been promoted to Official Big Time Blogger. (Just playing with you. Mostly.)

    Now comes one more realization: Even though he called your sun a f**, it has very little to do with sexual orientation. Author Julia Serano coined a word you should learn:

    effemimania. It’s about the hatred of and obsession with anything feminine in a male embodied person. It’s about fear, and anger, and what you and your son experienced that day: the idea that femininity in maleness is justification for murder.

    You must report this man. He hates femininity and women beyond anything American culture even tacitly approves of. Being an ally isn’t just about your son. It’s about knowing that there are others out there this man feels are worth killing.

    Not all of them will be gay. Some of them will grow up to be trans. Like the woman I love and the people I serve. Murdered by the hundreds every year because of what this man and others believe: that femininity in male bodies is evil.

    Ma’am consider it being a good neighbor. If there was a rabid dog running around, you wouldn’t just bring your son into the house and hope for the best. You’d pick up the phone, call the police, and expect them to remove the dog from your neighborhood. Not only because it’s dangerous to you. but everyone around you.

    The same principle applies here. Your neighborhood is simply bigger, and the rabid dog in question walks on two legs instead of four. Now that you and your son are safe, it’s up to you, as a good neighbor, to alert police and the neighborhood before someone else is injured.

  212. WTEchristian says

    First of all, I want to state that this is 110% horrible. But just want to point out that you fall yourself to same prejudices and judgement when referring to God and Jesus, assuming this man is a Christian. So let me explain a bit.

    First of all, most of the God believing nowadays are very liberal on the matter, but media precisely and by purpose gives a wrong impression. They stuck only on the views of the “fundamentalist” type of christians, because that what sells their robbish news papers.

    The fact is that this kind of fucker extremists exists IS the problem. It has nothing really do with God or Jesus as God is love and its not our right as christians to judge really anyone (except maybe other christians, but thats completely different issue).

    From a christian point of view, I want to tell you I am deeply sorry for such ignorant macho men exist still on 21th century. Still, I hardly believe a tattooed camouflage type of Alabama guy is really believing in Bible and if he is…thats then just sad as he really missed the point of the book :)

    Also for small kid like yours, its common to wear what ever heck he wants, like you said: “he just a 2 year old boy”.

    Peace,
    White Trash Extremist Christian

  213. Megan says

    My sister in law shared this post with me, and I was so upset by what you went through I felt the need to comment. How DARE that man hurt your child! A TWO year old!! I’m so very sorry this happened to you, as a mother it must have been horrific. I do have to say though that both you and your son handled it so well. Good for your boy, to put out his hand and say NO in a loud voice, well done!And you as well, for standing up for both of you so strongly. I know you’ll never forget such a terrible experience, but I hope it fades with time!

  214. says

    This story really made me mad! How dare that stupid idiot lay his hands on your son! And as 4 saying what he did he sounds like a total homophobe. If I’d of seen this would of totally stepped in an told him where to get off! Your son is beautiful and so what if he likes pink and dressing up? As you said yourself its how they learn by exploring new things, I have two daughters and two step daughters and all my girls love cars and bikes (as I did growing up lol) an playing in the dirt and climbing trees, does that make them butch? Or does it mean that they will grow up to be lesbians? No not based on what they like to wear and play with! I’d defiantly report this to the store and police and see what they can do. I hope you and your family aren’t to shaken up by what happened, and I hope your little boy continues to do what makes him happy regardless of what people do or say :) xx

  215. says

    This is assault, it’s a criminal offence. In the UK, this would have been an imprisonable offence, and I would be surprised if that’s not the case in your jurisdiction too.

  216. Amy says

    My son is now 14. I took him to Sam’s Club when he was about your son’s age and he wanted to wear yellow rain boots and my stripped kitchen apron over his shorts and t-shirt. And I let him. Because that made him happy. That’s what life should center on when you are two – being happy. What happened to you guys makes me sad and hopefully your son will soon forget it. I’m sure you won’t (sad face).

  217. Dani says

    Walmart has more security cameras than the UK. Call the police. They can look at the security cameras, and probably the security cameras from the front of the store and get his license plate and find him.

  218. Matt says

    Hi. I’m very sorry to hear your story. Please do not feel guilty at anytime. That was out of your control. My name is Matt and I’m a married to a lovely man and we are the happiest dads of an eight years old boy. I’m based in France, and trust me, world will always be full of dirty people like this man. My husband and I heard so many things against our way of parenting. Same-sex couples can get married in France since a few months only. It was a tough task. I found myself in multiples groups to defend rights for all and before all, RIGHTS FOR KIDS! I do not think reporting this to your local police or anywhere else would help at any point (unless you live in a small countryside village!). And even if they found him, you’d be so disappointing to see how homophobia is not considered as an issue. Really sad. I think it would really upset you and your partner. Although, I congratulate and thank you for your post which shows there are some people around the world who dare speaking, who respect everyone. I wish you all the best to you and your family, Matt.

  219. expatsayswow says

    I don’t live in the United States anymore, for a set of complicated reasons. Some of those reasons involve extreme frustration with politics and disenchantment with the kind of values that I think are misplaced or misguided.

    However, there are things about the US that I think are great. One of them is this: if you stripped your situation down to bare bones: “an adult approached a two-year-old and physically assaulted the child without reason”, I’d guess most people from the US would say that (1) that is unacceptable / wrong behavior and (2) what he did is punishable under our system of law. A large chunk would also say that the adult’s words, using hate speech toward a particular group, make the actions more severely punishable.

    *These* attitudes–supporting a person’s rights to his/her body, defending the kind of individualism displayed by your son and yourself, and practicing sensitivity toward the different ways we identify ourselves–are what make the US great.

    This man should be punished, and the girls who drew attention to you in the first place should be ashamed of themselves–as should the people in the store who didn’t help you.

    You should make your own decision about whether to pursue the matter any further. However, rest assured knowing that as many jerks as there are in the world, there are just as many (if not more) people who are supportive of you and your son.

  220. Pamela Tee says

    I got this link from FB and I gotta say that your boy is a beautiful kid! And don’t let that monster bring you guys down! If he can call a 2 year old such foul names in public, the man is worst than scum! A stranger putting his hands on a child without permission from the parents is just wrong! If you still feel horrible about it, just report it to the authorities and check out the surveillance tape, you might just teach this bully a lesson or two. Your son is very lucky to have such a accepting and loving mother! Stay strong! All the good people in the world are behind ya! ^^

  221. Elizabeth Zazalak says

    This is not ok. You need to go to report it to Walmart, and the police. Walmart has video, they will have it on feed. He HIT your child, and basically threatened death. That is against the law. He cannot for one second be allowed to believe what he did was right (IT WILL NEVER BE).
    This hits especially close, as my boy is almost 2, and I have just learned about Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, who has recently waged his own war on gays. I have decided that I will change that.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/opinion/russias-anti-gay-crackdown.html?_r=1&amp;
    Katie, I can only imagine your anger, but we are both so lucky that the man who hit your boy (and people like him) are not in power.
    In Russia homosexuals are not as lucky, they have made it illegal to be gay. Recall Hitler did that once as well…
    For those of you who know love is love in any form, tell the world about Vladimir Putin.
    If we don’t speak up no one will.

  222. Cindy says

    Your son was a victim of a hate crime. It’s stunning when it first happens, you can’t really believe it’s happening and because it’s the first time and he’s so young, you’re not really sure what to do. You will figure it out, I did. My family experienced similar situations. One of the things you said that resonated with me was the fear you have for your son, that someone feels it’s ok to assault him and hurt him because they perceive your son as gay. Boys are especially harassed and bullied from an early age for these things. I had to take on a young mother in a mall one day who felt she could verbally assault my son with homophobic slurs. She had two children with her! I will never understand that – but the fear you feel is real and one I live with everyday. I hope the world is changing but if it is, it’s because of conversations like this that bring homophobia out into the light where it can be shamed into non-existence.

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