One mother has ignited an online firestorm with a single, defiant blog post entitled "My Son Is Gay" in which she vigorously takes on critics of her decision to allow her five-year-old son to dress up as a female cartoon character for Halloween.
In the blog, which features a picture of the boy dressed up as Daphne from "Scooby-Doo," the mother, who asked to be identified as Sarah, said that she was subject to criticism and condescension from other parents when she accompanied the costumed boy to school.
"But here's the point, it's none of your damn business," Sarah wrote on the blog Nerdy Apple Bottom. "If you think that me allowing my son to be a female character for Halloween is somehow going to 'make' him gay then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is gay, OK. I will love him no less. Thirdly, I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off."
The post, made late last month, has gained viral steam today and has nearly 25,000 comments.
"It's surreal," Sarah told ABC News today. She said that the blog post, which started as a rant against critics of her parenting, has grown into a much larger issue, with her at the center.
"If this matters to over 1 million people," she said, referring to the number of hits her story has had on various news outlets, "then I do have a moral responsibility to back up my words... This little post about this sweet, kind, handsome boy strikes a chord with everybody."
But as she stands at the center of the discussion, so does the picture of a boy who's only vaguely aware of the attention he's getting around the world.
"He knows that we've talked about it and he knows that I wrote about it and he knows that there are millions of people that think he's a little rock star," she said. "I think in 20 years, he will know this story... I don't think he will feel angry or shamed, especially when he knows how many people this really touched."
When asked what he thought about the attention, the boy said "Oh, that's sweet," according to Sarah.
A vast majority of the comments on her blog are extremely supportive of both Sarah's parenting and her stand.
"Thanks for being brave and posting this! Congratulations to you for being someone who encourages your son to enjoy life. You support your kid no matter what," one poster said. "Good work mom! Keep up your kindness, love and caring!"
"Beaming with pride. You are who you are, be who you want to be. Well done mama. Well done," another said.
Other posters were less enthusiastic.
"I agree, this isn't nobody's business. One question though, if it's nobody's business, then why do you put this crap on the internet?" one poster wrote. "To me it seems as if you are seeking approval from the masses that it is ok to promote homosexuality, and of all people, your 5yr old. [You're] the adult, not your son. He is not old enough to make decisions of this nature."
Sarah said she sees her duty as a mother of a 5-year-old to just make sure her son knows he's loved.
Sarah's post begins by saying that despite the admittedly "provocative" headline, her son may not be gay. "I don't care." She said that if she had a daughter and dressed her up as Batman, "no one would've thought twice about it."
Though her son was initially excited about the costume, Sarah wrote that he was nervous before wearing it to school.