My Son isn’t Allowed to Wear a Dress


I know, I’m supposed to be all delighted with the “My Son is Gay” blogger. I’m supposed to think that she’s a heroine for letting her son dress as Daphne for Halloween.

Okay fine, it was Halloween. I’d probably let Alexander dress as a girl for Halloween, but my family would think I’m a complete and utter asshole if I posted my son’s picture and then told the world he was gay. Why? Because that’s an asshole move at any age.

Mom blogging can be Moms talking to Moms, or Moms talking to the world. It doesn’t have to be Moms Telling Stories That Will Haunt Their Children. Oh, unless you drove a tank down the 405 instead of going to class in your freshman year of college. That will humiliate everyone, and it is a story that clearly needs to be told.

My son, who has no gender identity issues, may not wear a dress outside this house. He may not wear a pink frilly top, or tap dancing shoes. My son, because he is being raised by conservative freakazoids, will only wear clothing purchased in the boy’s department. Yes, I recognize that I’m narrow minded. I am okay with that.

If your son or daughter has gender identity issues this video is not about you. I’m really sorry, but I can only address the 99% of the world that smacks me in the face. It’s a blog, not an encyclopedia. I’m a Mom Blogger, not a politician, you don’t have to love me, and I don’t have to campaign for your issues.

So what say ye? Would you let your son wear a dress to school?

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47 responses to “My Son isn’t Allowed to Wear a Dress”

  1. I guess as long as you know you’re narrowminded?

    If my kid was so hellbent on wanting to cross dress, my making a big deal out of it is going to mess the kid up far more than a little perceived humiliation will.
    What children strive for most is acceptance from two people.
    Mom and dad.

    So, if mom and dad are really concerned about pigeon holing their kids into or out of being or not being gay by letting or not letting them wear a dress… in the end the only thing that should matter is your child and how the whole thing affects them.
    Not how you save face as a mother, blogger, neighbour or as a parent.

    Still, thought provoking idea.

  2. Kelly says:

    My kids would rather throw themselves in front of a car than wear anything except their school sanctioned uniforms that make them look exactly like all the rest of the kids. God forbid a button comes off or a hem is loose – “everyone will make fun of me!!!”

    So I can say, yes, I would be thrilled at any inkling of individuality one of my kids cared to show, even if it was wearing a dress, say to the mall, since school isn’t an option (they won’t even let them in the door if their hair is over their ears). I care not for conventionality nor for anyone else’s opinion, yet somehow Peruvian society has given me a pair of conformists.

    I have an out and proud nephew, on the other hand, back in the US. If he had wanted to wear a dress to school, I doubt you could have stopped him. Actually, a dress would be pretty tame for him these days.

  3. Melissa says:

    I have a daughter, let me start by saying that. And I don’t think that this is quite as heated a topic with girls. Well except for Shiloh Jolie Pitt. And I frankly don’t think it should be. My daughter is nearly 3. She isn’t what I would describe as “frilly” …. but she is girly. Should there be something that tickles her fancy in the boy’s dept. I’m ok with that. She is currently the owner of a Cars tee shirt that she’s obsessed with. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that making a big deal of it will mess the kid up… but I would say that making a big deal of it will make a kid who wants to maybe try it out… WANT TO DO something far more than if a big deal wasn’t made over…. clothing.

  4. Laura says:

    I’m thinking I probably wouldn’t care…but my husband would. I might remind him (son) that he can’t go hang upside down if he’s wearing a skirt, the same we do with our daughter. (we have 1 daughter and 2 sons.) But I can’t honestly say one way or another until/unless he asks (he’s 5 now, and I know, in the past, he’s worn dresses out when we’ve gone on play dates and to one party where the whole point was to dress crazy but he hasn’t shown any interest in wearing dresses outside of playing dress up at home).

  5. Jane says:

    As a gay, I’ve never struggled with gender identity issues. I’ve always wanted to be a girl. When I got older I realized I wanted to be with other girls. Had I really known that as a young child, I cannot imagine anything worse than having it broadcasted. Even the suggestions of “lezzy” on the playground were mortifying.

    I’m also the mother of a son and daughter, both straight. Had either of them had gender identity issues, I would not have thought it was cute or a political issue or one I should take to the internet for opinions. I would have sought counseling for them, walked with them through their feelings, and treated the situation gently and with love.

    So yeah, I’m with you on this one. Let kids be kids and help them along the way–privately.

  6. amyz5 says:

    as this is usually my mantra i will keep it going on this topic:

    this is not about whether you will or will not allow or embrace your son wearing a dress. this is so not about whether her kid is gay or not – he may very well be a hetero kid.

    this is an issue about why moms feel compelled to broadcast these parenting choices. i would imagine it is for many reasons. they may have good intentions and feel they are championing free sexual choice and taking the issue ‘out of the closet’, if you will.

    but this tactic is at the expense of their child’s privacy and right to experiment at a tender age without having the whole world weigh in on whether it is ok.

    moms, try to think about your kid at 15, 18, 21, 25… and what your choices for sharing the details of their will do to their online reputation as they become teens and young adults.

    not fair.

    • The most effective part of the post (outside of the salacious title) was that she was willing to talk about the parenting choice. I think the benefit to mommy blogging is talking about just these kinds of choices. Otherwise I don’t give a hoot about looking at pics of strangers kids.

      I think you have to be smart about it on several levels, but I also don’t think that what someone wrote on a mommy blog a decade ago is going to be relevant to these kids when they’re teenagers. The internet changes so rapidly, but it’s hard to picture even the meanest 15-year-old combing mom-blog archives for ammo.

      (Excepting, of course, this kid, whose Daphne costume may well live in infamy.)

  7. Googie Baba says:

    In all fairness, Nerdy Applebottom isn’t saying that her son is gay. She is mocking the fear that he might be. Her point is that it is just a Halloween costume.

    Having said this, I am of two minds about this. One the one hand, I absolutely agree that parental acceptance is most important to kids. I want my kids to know that I have their backs no matter what. Even if they do things I don’t personally understand.

    On the other hand, as a lesbian, I have been really aware of the rash of suicides among gay kids recently. I want to protect my kids. I can’t just send them into a situation where I think they are going to be attacked.

    I have a son at home. The closest I have come to this is that my son LOVES being naked. He never wears clothes in the house. In the summer he wanted to know why he had to get dress if we leave the house. I didn’t really have a good reason. I explained to him that it just isn’t done. In our culture, we wear clothes. Luckily, he accepted this.

    I think if I was raising a transgendered kid, I would try to do the same thing. I love you no matter what. When you are home wear whatever you want. But outside, I want to protect you. And until you are older and in a safer situation, wear gender appropriate or gender neutral clothes.

    BTW – Kelly, I loved your comment. You sound like a very fun mom. I bet you kids are very individualistic, they just don’t express it in their clothes

  8. Traci says:

    Would I let my son, *MY* son wear a dress?

    Oh hell no.

    Not because I’d be afraid that a skirt would make him gay. It’s because he wouldn’t look near as dashing in a tutu as he does in pressed chinos and an ascot.

  9. My son has gender identity issues, mostly that stem from his autism and low Iq and a general lack of understanding of what is girly and what is for boys. He likes girls and likes pretty things, so he tries to surround himself with those things. He likes princesses and dolls. I don’t think he is gay, nor do I care one way or the other. My husband does draw the line at letting him wear girl clothes. He is ten, he may only have the mind of a 3 yo, but people see him as a pre-teen and will judge him as such. We choose not to let him wear things like that to protect him. If one of my “normal” children chose to and had full understanding of the consequences, then I would fully have his back.

  10. Marinka says:

    I would not let my son wear a dress. But it’s easy for me to say that because my son has never, ever shown even the slightest hint of wanting to wear a dress.

    I’d like to think if wearing dresses was important to him, the way baseball is important to him right now, I would relent and embrace who he was. And I’m worried about what my hesitation about that says about me as a mother.

    At least I don’t let him wear an ascot.

  11. Such an interesting topic and I can definitely appreciate the elements of privacy associated with sharing these sorts of details. However, I tend to agree with Googie Baba in that the intent of the particular blog was to highlight the ridiculousness of the whole thing.

    Would I let my son wear a dress (if I had a son, I have one daughter)? Hell, yes! Which I’m sure doesn’t surprise anyone given I’m one of THOSE left wing liberal freaks. But I’d actually go one further than that. What struck me in the video is the two mums who would allow their boys to wear a dress talking about the whole ‘it’s not me, it’s society’ line. Which is such a cop out. I have no problem with people who choose to say no to their sons – that’s a personal parenting choice. But have the courage to stand behind your decision and not blame the meanness and intolerance of some abstract society concept.

    For me saying something like that is just another way of saying I’m ashamed of you because you don’t fit into the societal mould. If you ask anyone who has had an experience of a parent using that line, it’s not society who they are heartbroken by, it’s their parents.

  12. Jack says:

    No dress for my son- there is no reason for it and I won’t make excuses that try to make it seem like it is other peoples issue. I will love my children regardless of their sexuality. I don’t care if they are gay but I prefer that they not be.

    Not because there is anything wrong with gay people but because I want them to have an easier life. For the time being they are not treated the same as others and it is not right nor fair.

    Again, I don’t care if they are gay- but given a choice I would hope that they are straight. I’d rather them have an easier life.

  13. Jennifer says:

    My son loves to wear fairy wings, ballet skirts, headbands and play jewelry…because he is 2yo and absolutely idolizes his 4yo sister, who wears those things regularly. I forgot once that he was wearing play jewelry when we went to the library and could not believe how many comments I got. Now the rule is that no one wears play jewelry outside of the house, or ballet skirts, because it’s easier than dealing with opinions from everyone else. But at home? He can pretend to be a fairy all he wants.

  14. jennydecki says:

    Thank goodness I have girls.

  15. My son is only 3, and although he is as cliche as 3 year old boys tend to go, he also loves the color pink and playing with dolls. Does that mean he is going to want to wear a pink frilly dress when he’s 8, 13, or 20? Does it mean he will be gay? Who knows and who cares. I certainly don’t care. If he doesn’t have the biological/societal urge to conform to society’s version of what a boy ought to wear or look like, I’m perfectly OK with that. I think my role as his mother is to encourage and support his individuality. And, on that note, if my son has the chutzpah and confidence to wear a dress to school, I’ll be the first person to tell him, “go for it, hold your head up high, and make sure you’re wearing underwear.”


  16. Ben Hughes says:

    I agree with the fact that clothing doesn’t make a person gay. I agree that children should be, to some extent, held to wearing clothing that falls within their own gender-based identities as designated by our society. But there’s one thing I don’t understand within you post.

    “He may not wear […] tap dancing shoes.”

    Why not, Jessica? I honestly don’t understand this one. I know that you’re a level-headed person who has good reasons for her decisions. Would you not allow you son to join a dance studio, company or crew?

    I come from a background of dance. I was a dancer for seven years from middle school until I graduate high school. It was one of my outlets, a source of true friendships, and it helped me grow into the mature (not to mention well postured) man I am today. I studied every form of dance, wore a dancer’s belt, owned fitted clothing, etc. But does that mean that I was turning gay, or that I couldn’t throw a football? Nope. Hell, I could out-run and out-throw most guys in my high school because of my flexibility and muscle mass.

    Did I get ridiculed? Sometimes, sure. But I also got a half-dozen or so of my guy friends to join our dance school. It’s pretty nice to spend a weekend at a dance competition where beautiful girls outnumber us guys 300-to-1.

    • Maria says:

      Thank you for this comment. The dance shoes comment upset me too much to formulate actual words and you expressed yourself so beautifully.

      • Sorry about the folks. When I was writing this I was envisioning my daughter’s tap shoes from when she was five, complete with ribbons for ties.

        I was just visualizing the things that are in my daughter’s closet.

        • Ben Hughes says:

          Jess, it’s fine. Like I said, “I know that you’re a level-headed person who has good reasons for her decisions.” I can totally understand where you were coming from with that line of thought. No harm done. :)

  17. Maegan says:

    I know I talked about it on momversation…but just b/c now I’m here, I’ll answer here. I know my husband would be absolutely anti-anything that had my kids cross dressing. He was raised in an environment where the mother was the laborer & wage earner. His father was the one who kept the home & stayed with the children. He was placed in that home as an 8 yr old. So he’d seen & accepted “traditional” roles in other places…and this confused him. I think as a result…he sometimes acts super “macho” to make up for the fact that mommy paid all the bills. Why that made an impact on him…I don’t know…but clearly it did. He also hoards stuff b/c every time he was placed in a new home he had to leave all his stuff behind. So now, he doesn’t like to let anything go!

    My point is…my husband would be very upset by this. In order to keep the peace, I’d be making a compromise. We can find pink boys’ clothes…or bedazzle a pair of boy jeans. On the waistband, under the belt. I think it would be distracting to other kids…I would not want my child to be harmed, someone else said something about letting some of their kids be that way b/c they could defend or handle themselves…and I feel like my kid might not be able to handle this stuff in elementary school. I only have girls right now. My 7 yr old HATES jeans with a passion. She wants to wear skirts & dresses every. Single. Day. She can’t…it was 12 degrees at the bus stop this morning. Skirts & leggings means lots of extra stuff to keep her warm. Plus, with skirts & dresses, she wants to wear “fancy” shoes. She can’t do P.E. in fancy shoes…which means I would EVERY DAY have to send her in her snow boots, and put both her athletic shoes & her fancy shoes into her already packed backpack. So some days I force her to wear the jeans…and compromise with one of those longer tunics…so it’s *like* a dress.

  18. HaB says:

    I only have a daughter & THANK GOODNESS she acts, talks, and dresses LIKE A GIRL. The sweet, cute, adorable little girl that she is. Yes, would my life be easier some days if she’d just wear pants & a shirt. Of course. But, she won’t – she wants to wear pretty dresses, skirts & tights. And, I encourage her to do so. I have my fingers crossed that in 10 years she won’t go thru one of those phases where she wants to wear tattering looking clothing, dye her hair black or red or pink or orange and think that having bad manners & being disrespectful is cool.

    Perhaps some of it also has to do with how I was raised. My mom made sure that our cloths were impeccable – and I have many a photo where I’m dressed in a cute skirt, a blouse, monogrammed sweater, knee socks & Mary Janes. Perhaps the mindset comes from living in a small town where anything outside the “norm” is frowned upon, looked down upon and made fun of. And, besides, if I can spare her a few sideways glances, disapproving stares and behind the back whispers, then I will.

  19. iloveGarick says:

    I really can’t comment as I don’t have children yet and my perception may change once I do.

    Personally though, I think that if my son were old enough to vocalize his desire to wear women’s clothing, then I think he’s also old enough to have a talk about gender roles.

  20. I have a problem labeling my kids in general – and it grates on my nerves when other parents do it. Let your kid label themselves. Don’t choose it for them, I say.

    Don’t call them picky eaters, chubby, or gay. Let them be who they are. Any one of those labels will probably come back to you both of you in the ass later.

    • Maegan says:

      My child is very picky about what she eats…What should I call it instead? I’m truly curious. When someone invites us over for dinner and I want to refuse b/c I don’t want a scene at their table, or to listen to a hungry, grumpy, whining child after…should I simply say, “No…” Without explanation? Saying my child is a picky eater lets the host/ess decide if they want to go to the trouble of serving our family. :) These are descriptive words…Should I refrain from calling my child blonde? Or tall? Or smart?

  21. Natalie says:

    Yes, on Halloween. But during any normal day of the year? No, probably not.

    Glad to see Becky here – I’m a huge fan!

  22. Miss Grace says:

    Why not tap shoes?
    Tap shoes aren’t girl clothes.

  23. Erica says:

    I have to respectfully disagree. My 4 yo is already struggling with this and it breaks my heart. He loves “pretty” things, but feels ashamed for it. Why should he feel ashamed for liking something?

    He is learning (from society, not me) to curb that. He is trying to channel that into liking pretty things on MY behalf (“Mommy, this necklace would be so pretty for you”), but the embarrassment and pain it causes him is visible.

    I don’t think he is gay – he is four. But I don’t like him thinking there is a “right and wrong” way for him to be.

    • iloveGarick says:

      Right on, Erica. That’s a positive way to channel your 4yr old’s way of expressing himself.

      I think the main concern is simply to protect our children from harmful/hurtful comments.

  24. Jane Kathryn says:

    An interesting conversation, for sure!
    This is a topic I feel strongly about, too. I agree with you, Jessica (and many posters here), that it is *wrong* for moms to put their young child’s story (and photo!!) online in relation to issues about his or her gender questioning, sexuality, or any other intensely private matter. *Especially* issues of sexuality– that child is still a child. It makes me so angry! Parents should protect their child’s privacy and sense of safety in the world like their life depended on it. We have the rest of our lives to feel ashamed and scared…

    A mother who invades her child’s privacy in an online forum like that is exploiting the child for selfish reasons. (“look at what a great mom I am! validate me, everyone!” or a cyber version of “up yours, people!”)

    I’ve had a friend, “Scott,” since I was very young. He’s from a close-knit, typically All-American family with two average parents… he’s one of 4 boys. “Scott” has always been the epitome of “boy-ness” to me, even now that we’re pushing 30. Into NASA, rockets, Legos, sci-fi as a child… tall, masculine, deep-voiced as a man. So imagine my surprise when he came to me this year and said that he has always suffered from the uneasy conviction that he’s definitely a woman… and since as early as first grade has yearned to wear women’s clothing and express (her) feminine side (profoundly maternal, emotionally open, etc). You have to know someone your whole life to earn a surprise that catches you off-guard as much as that one did, but it’s made me think carefully. Here are my thoughts, for whatever they may be worth:

    1. I wish that “Scott” hadn’t been robbed of part of her childhood. She feels that way to some extent because she was always trying SO hard to be someone other than who she really was… and because she was deeply unhappy throughout her childhood as a result.

    2.I wish that “Scott’s” family had been more a little more gentle and compassionate in general, especially in regard to approaching values in a loving way. Looking back, the very strict atmosphere of the home and the overwhelming message that their masculine qualities were their best qualities must be incredibly painful for my friend as she tries to love and accept her newly embraced identity. I don’t want her to think that her female qualities make her less successful, less interesting, less love-able, or less of a person.

    3. I am profoundly grateful that “Scott’s” mom reacted to her son-turned-daughter’s big news in an open, loving way. Her protective side bloomed even in the midst of being confronted with sad, frightening and confusing news– her first inclination was, ‘are you ok? Are you happy? What can I do to ensure your happiness and well-being? I love you.” Beautiful words from a parent. If, instead, her first inclination had been to post a blog entry with a photo of her son wearing his first dress, pointing for all to see & speculate about… I would have to walk over to her house and greet her with a cream pie to her face. I can’t imagine how furious I’d be if I knew someone who did that to their *young,* vulnerable child. It would have to be one big-@ss cream pie…

  25. I wouldn’t let my sons wear a dress or any other girl clothes out in public. If they had several sisters and were all playing dress up and one of the boys put on a dress I wouldnm’t make a big deal out of it, but I would never let them leave the house in girl’s clothing or girl’s jewelry. If they want to grow up to be gay or grow up to be a cross-dresser that’s their business, but while I am in control and I make the decisions for them I choose that they dress gender appropraite in the house and out of the house.

    I think you should let the kids be creative and express themselves but I also think it is or job as parents to guide them in the direction they are suppose to go. Boys wearing boy clothes girls wearing girl clothes, etc.

  26. Gary Grant says:

    Not even sure where to begin here.

    I am a 40 something, married, father of 3.

    Just erased some comments.

    I have a gay uncle. A gay niece.

    I live in southern Ontario. Yes, we believe in gay marriage and buying pot is not too difficult. I don’t consider myself a left wing crazy, I just believe that people should be treated with respect and be allowed to live life how they have to/want to live life.

    I have 3 kids. A 17 year old daughter who has danced since she was 3 and 10, 12 year old boys. Both boys have had a couple of years at dance when they were younger.

    Little kids are little kids. They like to experiment and do what their friends and family do. By trying new things, we learn. Not only do we learn about the little things, but we also learn things like who we are.

    Will you “let” your boys wear girls clothes….?

    Forget small minded.

    Jessica, I have to say that you are more concerned about your own status and insecurities than about your son’s wellbeing.

    IF, later on in life, it turns out that he IS gay, how are you going to deal with that if you can’t deal with such a trivial issue?

  27. CanCan says:

    I am a preschool teacher and had a student who wanted to be a girl. His parents got him a barbie backpack and when I was at the spa, I actually saw his mom bring him there for a pedicure. I thought to myself, I have 2 sons, but if I even had a 4 year old daughter, would I take her to get a pedicure? No. Because she is 4. Not 14. I kind of wonder about this eagerness to push girly stuff on boys who are still figuring themselves out. I wouldn’t let my 3 year old get a Lightening McQueen tattoo.

  28. NIcole says:

    My kids, both boys, wouldn’t dream of wearing girl clothes, but I would never say I’m thankful for it. I’m thankful for my kids, period and would support and love them whether they were girls or boys or boys who wanted to wear girl’s clothes. My husband, maybe not so much, but he would never say no. He was a bit annoyed at the pink power ranger costume from my mom.

    When my brother was little my mom did dress him as a girl for halloween, speaking of rebellious liberals. He hated it, but funny thing was he went as a girl every year after that – loved dressing as someone completely different, loved the attention. I highly doubt, either, that he would have been upset to find pictures of himself posted. I think that mom was trying to educate society how hurtful and ignorant they sound when they criticize a little boy in a costume.

  29. Jane Kathryn says:

    A friend of mine just sent me this website, and I thought it really summed up what I was trying to say in my previous comment:

    It’s different than what I expected– it’s just a blog of photos that GLBT people sent in that show them as young children in a half-humorous, “not so surprising that I eventually turned out to be gay, eh?” kind of statement.

    The reason I thought the posters here might appreciate the website is the fact that we’re discussing this topic strictly from the perspective as adults here, but this site tells us what the *children* in question were feeling and thinking. It also discusses their appreciation of how their families treated them; not being chastised for marching to the beat of a different drummer (regardless of whether they wore those outfits out of the house or not) :)

    I’m really touched by what some of the entries say… especially,
    “Tommy, pictured at age 5 (wearing a blazer & bow tie, holding a frou-frou feather):
    I love this photo. I had no idea I was supposed to feel like something was ‘wrong with me’ yet. The Blue feather says it all.”

    and “Andrew, at age 9:
    I think I always knew I was different, and luckily I had parents who let me be myself and never discouraged me or made me feel bad about anything I did […]
    If you had shown this picture to my friends in high school I would have been mortified. Now I look back on it with fond memories and a sense of humor.”

    • Maegan says:

      I don’t see any parents here saying they would chastise or otherwise make their children feel bad for wanting to be different…or saying there is something wrong with a child who wants to do things a little differently.

      The general consensus I see is…there is appropriate indoor & outdoor behaviors. I let my kids walk buck naked in the house – but I’m not going to let them outside that way. My kids are allowed to yell their little lungs out on the playground, but inside we have *inside voices*. It has nothing to do with whether or not a child is gay…it has to do with the rules a parent sets forth, and the child following those rules.

      My daughter went to a school with a uniform dress code for a while. The rules very clearly stated what girls were allowed to wear, and what boys were allowed to wear. That means if you had a boy going to that school, the rules said he could only wear long pants or shorts.

      In the school she attends now, my oldest signed a student contract for her student handbook – one of the very generic rules (probably thrown in so if staff decided they don’t like something, or it was questionable they could lump with this) was that the students were not allowed to do things that would distract other students. No examples were given…but I’m sure that could include coming to school with bright pink hair or wearing clown shoes. If a parent feels differently, then they have every right to school that child how they see fit.

    • I think that parents *know* if their child is gay. I’m not talking about kids who are gay/flambloyant/transgender. I’m talking about my son who is one of the 90% of little boys who is most likely straight, and more interested in baseball than dresses.

      I really can’t address what it’s like to parent a child who isn’t like mine, but I can tell you very clearly that there is nothing in the world that could ever make me not love and support my child. We all support our kids in different ways.

      • Jane Kathryn says:

        Just for the record– I’m not writing this to point at parents and say, “parents enjoy chastising their children for being different, and parents are horrible.” That’s not what I’m saying at all. And Jessica, I am in no way suggesting that you wouldn’t love & support your children if they were going through something confusing involving their identity.

        I was just trying to join in the discussion about what children pick up from their parents, and how they really internalize what pushes their parents’ buttons. For my friend’s family, (s)he learned early on that “men act like men in this house, end of question,” and while that certainly is a value that can have a lot of merit (and her parents meant well), it made my friend agonize for years about the confusing and vague feelings she had about secretly being female instead of male.

        My friend didn’t “come out of the closet” until she was 30. NONE of us saw that one coming, and her family is the most shocked of all. I have several very close friends who are gay or lesbian, and their parents truly have no idea. (Most people in their life don’t know– there’s nothing that would indicate otherwise). It’s painful to watch because they’re essentially leading double lives… one of these friends is a man who pretended to date me for 3 months just so his parents would see him with a woman when they visited our college for parents’ weekend. I was devastated when I learned that he was gay and our relationship was just a “front,” and it was unreal to witness how afraid he was to disappoint his parents by telling them he was gay.

        I guess I was just trying to express my belief that so often, we have no idea what someone is going through– even parents in regard to their children, no matter how amazing and close they are– and it can take individuals decades to learn the “truth” about their own lives for themselves. So I was just posting on a public forum to encourage parents to remember that it can’t hurt to treat gender discussions gently at home…. kids get messages *everywhere* in their lives about how each gender is supposed to look, sound & act, and it can be intimidating. So I just wanted to support the idea of keeping one’s home a sanctuary for your child’s questions and imagination (… which is the exact opposite of the tone and inclination of the woman who blogged about her very young ‘cross-dressing’ son). My posts were in response to the discussion about this woman, because I consider her choices to be a violation of her child’s trust.

  30. Melissa says:

    We were at a hotel recently, and my toddler son befriended a little girl who had a doll baby. I asked my son: Do you like Amelia’s doll? He usually nods at everything, but in response to this question he just wrinkled his little nose. I think we, as parents, naturally reinforce the innate gender differences we see in our kids.

  31. destin says:

    oh no your completely ok to deny your child just the other mom is completely ok to be a moron, but just remember your son/daughter is ok to take from you everything you filched from them. my mother and father sent me away to a rtc mental home after they found out about my g.i.d. and dressing, now my mother has cancer and all i can say is karma is a bitch, i just dont care, i know its foul but how can i care when they didnt. just remember its your choice how you want to be seen by your children get it.

    • I’m really sorry that your parents weren’t able to see who you needed to be. I think you missed these sentences from my post:

      “My son, who has no gender identity issues, may not wear a dress outside this house. He may not wear a pink frilly top, or tap dancing shoes. My son, because he is being raised by conservative freakazoids, will only wear clothing purchased in the boy’s department. Yes, I recognize that I’m narrow minded. I am okay with that.
      If your son or daughter has gender identity issues this video is not about you. I’m really sorry, but I can only address the 99% of the world that smacks me in the face”

      If I had a child with GID issues we’d be having a very different discussion. I’d be in therapy learning how to be a better mother to a son who had an unanticipated set of needs.

      I’m sorry that your parents were so afraid of your needs. I imagine they sent you away thinking that they could help you, and I don’t believe for a moment that you don’t care about your mother having cancer or you wouldn’t have typed it.

      I know you didn’t ask for my advice, but visiting with her with no expectation of apology or reconciliation just might make YOU feel like a better person. Ultimately you’re entitled to be happy, and staying away just might be hurting you.

  32. Adrian says:

    It’s a tough call. I have a 4 year old nephew like this. I don’t know if he has GID, he’s 4 – how the heck would he know? But he did go through a phase where he just **adored** anything pink & sparkly. His Mom went along with it, but once he started pre-school, the kids were horrible to him. It’s a tough call – do you let your child enjoy the things he loves so much, or ease him into the path of conformity for the sake of making his future easier? Kids have long memories and I’m sure this issue will persist for a long time regardless of which path they choose.

  33. Jennifer says:

    This is all so interesting. My nephew is 5 and he loves wearing his sisters clothes.My sister won’t let him wear a dress to school but she’s fine with him at almost anything else. She lets her daughter treat him like he’s her doll (she puts bows in his hair, puts lipstick on him etc). My sisters attitude is that its all okay. I expect he’ll grow out of it but it does cause some family problems.

    • Caralynn says:

      We went thru something a little different with our 14 year old daughter this past easter sunday.She was never baptized as a baby due to her being born a premmie and other issues over the years,so we told her we were finially having her baptized at easter vigil on easter sunday.She fine and then told me she wanted to be dressed like a baby girl in a white poofy,short dress with a bonnet,lace socks and white ‘mary jane’ shoes.I was taken aback by this and asked her why she wanted to wear that outfit,and she said that she just wanted to be like a baby for her baptism and that she had a friend who was baptized last year and wore the outfit and looked very cute.She found a cute,poofy white,mid thigh length dress in her size and then bought a white bonnet from the site her friend got hers.we got her the lace socks and the mary janes and then she told me that for her ‘diaper’ under the dress,she wanted to wear a cloth diaper with rubber pants over it,as her friend wore them also.she bought the diapers at target and sewed them together to make one diaper and then got the white rubber pants from where her friend got them..i dressed her in the outfit easter morning and she had no qualms about it.she wore the outfit all day and enjoyed it.

      • terry says:

        To Caralyn-when our daughter was 14,she had a friend the same age who was a bedwetter and wore cloth diapers and rubberpants to bed every night.She had sleepovers at the friends house and at bedtime and she would ask her friends mom to put the diapers and rubberpants on her also and her and the friend would carry on like baies.I didnt know this was happening untill the one friday night when she was at the friends house and i took some money over there so she could pay for pizza and saw hher and the friend in their diapers and rubberpants.the friends mom told me that the daughter wears them everytime she sleeps over.Now the daughter is 15 going on 16 and still wearing the diapers and rubberpants to bed every night and on the weekends even tho she’s not a wetter.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I tried once to wear women’s clothes to school back in elementary and got ridiculed. So I had to change in the bathroom as I brought shorts and a shirt. This was in 6th grade when I was 12. I’m a light cross-dresser. Just can’t get it out of me. 20 years passed. I hide it in the privacy of my house and have gone years without doing it. But I have a collection of clothes now. I wear it when I want. I buy clothes and dresses online from etsy, ebay, dillards, jcpenny, gap, or forever21. I also tried to buy at a regular J.C. Penny store but after I did once felt odd. Anyways, I started back at age 3 or 4. I used to put on my aunts and cousins dresses at the old house where they lived with us. I tried to curb the urge over the years but by 11 was doing it again. So I still do it, but try to keep it on the down low. I also don’t go all the way like a transvestite. So I don’t put on make up, although once I got lipstick and nail polish that I still have. I just like wearing dresses, skirts and blouses and women’s underwear sometimes.

  35. ShanBan says:

    I believe you would be surprised if you knew how much of the world is actually gay, and I assure you (although they might not be out to the world) much more than 1% of the population is gay. And a much larger percentage is affected by and/or cares about the gay population. It’s naive to think that this issue is small enough that it is insignificant and doesn’t deserve your consideration.

    And by the way, tap dancing is not just for females and gay men, in fact it’s not even for feminine men. Do some YouTube watching. It’s sad that people like you are so eager to ignorantly label things because of your own insecurity with the world and your worries that YOU will not be accepted in society. Because the end that people that don’t worry about what stangers will think when they do what makes them or the people around them happy, are the happiest of all. 

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