Pink diapers, painted toenails, and the Chicago Bears. Oh my!

Brian Urlacher

Behold the teaser from an article in this morning's Chicago Sun Times: "Football tough guy Brian Urlacher dresses his son in pink Cinderella diapers and paints the 3-year-old's toenails blue, the child's mother charged in Will County court Tuesday."


Let's break this down a little bit. First of all, the article lets us know that Brian Urlacher (who plays football for the Chicago Bears) is a "tough guy."This is presumably because he plays football, and because he is big.Then we learn that Urlacher "dresses" his 3-year-old in pink diapers (because diapers are the new clothing, apparently) and paints his son's nails blue. Finally we read the real kicker here: His son's mother is taking him to court for these heinous crimes.

Brian Urlacher and his former girlfriend, Tyna Robertson, are separated, which is apparently why she has been unable to control the pink-diaper dressing (Which has happened on five occasions!). According to Tyna, their 3-year-old son Kennedy loves his pink diapers and painted nails so much that he doesn't want to get in the bath at the end of the day for fear of his makeover washing off. Because other, non-blue-tonailed 3-year-olds totally love taking baths, obviously.

Robertson said she has pleaded with Brian to get him to cease the toenail painting and "inappropriate diapering," but her pleas went unheeded.

"He says he can do whatever he wants," Robertson said. "(Urlacher said), 'It doesn't make him feminine. It doesn't make him gay.'

"You're confusing him, if he's a boy or a girl," she said.

Am I the only one creeped out by the insane homophobia and gender weirdness going on in this article? Painted toenails and pink diapers do not a girl make, and if a boy (who is only 3 and should not have to fear ridicule from his narrow-minded mother) likes those things then he should be able to wear them. Plus, if she was so set on raising an uber-heteronormative, macho son, she probably shouldn't have named him after a female MTV veejay (anyone else remember Kennedy?).

Oh, and things are about to take a turn for the gender-creepier. I wanted to defend Urlacher in this case for letting his son express himself and not being a bigot. Guess what, though? Last July, Urlacher sent Robertson several abusive text messages telling her that, "Your [sic] raising a little pussy." Turns out they are both bigoted homophobes, and the only person worth defending here is poor, fashionable Kennedy.

So we've got a"tough guy" football player who hates pussies, a bigoted mother who is willing to go to court to get her 3-year-old to stop liking pink, and a mass media that are covering this story as if both parents have valid arguments (and a super-gay son). There are so many f-ed up things going on here I could fill a book, and I bet you could too. Or at least a comments section. So get to it!


by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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11 Comments Have Been Posted

Brian Urlacher's son isn't gay

You're not the only one "creeped out" by this. Actually, I really feel for the child. One thing I know from personal experience: when you are three or four, you don't have "sexuality" and would be hard-pressed to be able to choose a sexual partner and you have no idea what that is. You can, though, have a distinct sense of your gender (as was my case). Actually, I was four before I realized there were two different genders. Me and my brother dressed in typical garb and gender never came up, but I always thought I could grow up to be like my mom and grandmas -- at least until I learned.

My dad was a hard-ass, always pushed me to "be the man", took me out back and made me learn how to fight (I won't go into details) and steered me into playing football. Yes, I was a safety ... enjoyed playing team sports and did well at it. But it never solved the gender disconnection between mind and body/societal expectation. It took me 38 years of repression (and hard drinking) before I finally concluded I had to be real.

There's a distinct chance (esp. hearing the words attributed to Kennedy) that he may well go in that direction. It's hard to say at this point, really. And if anyone is not transgender, I'd certainly advise them against trying this on a caprice as it's an emotionally-wrenching, sometimes financially devastating and even dangerous life (depending on the individual circumstances) But if Kennedy is trans, then Kennedy should make that decision and be allowed to just be -- without the circus-freak imagery foisted upon it.

Its not a pink or blue world

There are so many big and disturbing issues here, where to begin?

1) How extremely lame it is when two grown ups use their kids to get at / back at each other.

2) How some people become agitated and threatened when you dare to take your child out of the confines of the blue OR pink gender - specific model. Don't get me wrong, I like pink and blue. But I like other colours too and on more than one occasion when I've opted to not dress my 2yo daughter in head-to-toe pink I have had complete strangers tell me I should dress her "more pretty". What? My daughter's father recently took her to buy shoes. He opted for a nice tan pair that have red and yellow cars on them. He had to insist to the salesperson three times that he realised he was buying "boy" shoes and that it was okay.

Why do some people feel the need to force uber-gender specific clothing/toys on such young children? What does this say about our society at large? And why do some grown ups get so upset when you don't play by the rules? How can we, as parents, ensure that our kids grow up resistant to the either/or model?

3) I can't understand how anyone could honestly think that the colour of nappy you put on a child could define their sexual orientation. Could this be proof positive that society is officially dumbed-down? And why are pink / blue nappies even made? I always opted for the eco friendly non-bleached (tan) ones myself that thankfully lack any gender - specific colours/characters but I am familiar enough with the nappy aisle to see what else is out there and not only do I find it disturbing that both genders are so narrowly defined (if you are a boy you want to be tough, like blue, like cars. If you are a girl you want to be pretty, like pink, like princesses) but that these extremely narrow, ill-fitting, backward stereotypes are being forced on such young children.

I think its a very sad message that we are sending to our children: forcing them to choose either / or, to be either / or, and very exclusionary. Sometimes it does truly feel that we are going backwards?

Just another story ....

... in a long line of drama between Brian Urlacher and this woman. They have been in the media around Chicago so much, who knows what is really true. Either way, I feel bad for the child involved.


I wonder if Urlacher's comments about being a pussy were more about him being over protected and a Mama's boy than about him being gay? (Not that I approve of his use of the word.)

Some parents tend to shelter their kids a lot, and she may be doing that, encouraging separation anxiety, not allowing him freedom in his playing. I would see that as preventing a kid from developing independance.

Just a thought, not to make excuses, but it would explain the apparent conflict between complaining that he was making their son a pussy and being willing to let him not conform to gender norms. (Or maybe it just really makes no sense. who knows)


Considering that my fantasy football team is named after Brian (Grrlachers), I keep up on his antics quite a bit. First of all, he wasn't married to Kennedy's mom. He was married, but not to her.

I won't excuse one thing he does off the field, so say what you will. But I am glad that he's standing up for his son's right to wear whatever pull-up he wants. And the blue toe nails? Doesn't everyone had those in Chicago during football season?

Veronica I. Arreola
Also at:


Thanks for the heads up, Veronica! I made the corrections. And thanks for your input on the story as well!

what the fucks.

fear. people dwell in fear. its hard not to be sad and angry at all the folks who are obsessed with rigid gender lines. i hear about it more now that i am a mom; have a son.

one love.

That is indeed fucked up.

That is indeed fucked up. It's so heteronormative it makes me sick. Colors have absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation... pink, ironically, used to be a boy's color in the Victorian Era, since red was a power color. As for the blue toenails... aren't the father's team colors blue and orange, thereby justifying on all accounts pretty toenails... 3 year olds should not be subject what-so-ever to gender stereotypes.... they're far too young for it to matter.

You know how every middle

You know how every middle American dad who wants there son to be a professional football player ends up with a son whose gay and addicted to show tunes?
Why not watching that in reverse? Watch this kid grow up to be the greatest fucking linebacker in the history of the planet. Like the Monty Python skit.

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