?Here’s Why Neil Patrick Harris Defended This Mom’s ‘Gender Creative’ Son On Twitter

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The mother in the tweeted photograph is blogger Lori Duron, who wrote about her son C.J.’s experience at the parade—which she says was his first Pride celebration. “My sweet, fabulous, rainbow boy has never received so many compliments,” she wrote. “He’s used to getting stares and whispers when we’re out in public. He’s not used to getting the smiles, hugs, and encouragement he received at Pride.”

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Naturally, the actor received all kinds of heat on Twitter for his comments, including a reaction from Neil. “Utterly ignorant and classless, Mr. Woods,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m friends with this family. You know not of what you speak, and should be ashamed of yourself.”

Many other followers chimed in to condemn James’ comments and voice support of Neil, Lori, and her son: 

For her part, Lori told People that James’ comments were “troubling.” “It’s really gross to me any time that adults talk about children that way,” she said, and added that she thought James should “know better.” But in a tweet Wednesday she shared her gratitude for Neil and others who defended her: 

Lori also raised the point with People that James’ tweet was incredibly “misinformed.” “LGBTQ youth don’t hurt their parents, they hurt themselves,” she said. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, LGBTQ people are three times as likely to suffer from mental illness, largely due to the fear of (and experience of) discrimination for one’s sexual orientation or identity. For LGBTQ people aged 10 to 24, suicide is the leading cause of death. By embracing their son’s identity, Lori and her husband are most likely setting up CJ for a happy, healthy future.