What to Do When Your 5-Year-Old Son Wants to Wear a Skirt | Buzz Blog

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What to Do When Your 5-Year-Old Son Wants to Wear a Skirt

Posted By on November 4, 2010, 7:11 PM

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So, you're a 30-something full-time homemaker, mother of three, Christian, and married to a law-enforcement officer -- when your 5-year-old son announces that for Halloween he wants to dress up as Daphne Blake, the pretty-girl character from Scooby Doo. What do you do?---

According to one Midwestern mommy blogger, you let him.

"Cop's Wife," author of the Nerdy Apple Bottom blog, wrote about it in a Nov. 2 post headlined "My Son Is Gay." A few hours ago, on Nov. 4, the post went viral and as I write this, the comments board is filling with responses -- mostly from supportive individuals, but also from the other kind.

To me, the most shocking thing about her post is the news that anybody under 25 is aware of what or whom Scooby Doo was. This gives me the ominous feeling that future generations will analyze Gen-X and -Y based on terrible Hanna-Barbera cartoons in the same way we unfairly analyzed the Baby Boomer generation based on Nick-at-Nite reruns of Leave It to Beaver.

But the thing that people are really responding to in the post is its supportive-mom aspect. Honestly, "Cop's Wife" doesn't know whether or not her child is gay -- but she recognizes that his orientation is based on much more complex factors than his choice of Halloween costume.

My response was quickly lost among the burgeoning comments on the blog but, for what it's worth, here it is:

Whatever orientation your son was born with won't become obvious until later -- and then it will be based upon whom he loves, not the Halloween costume he chose when he was 5. But, whether gay, straight, bi or transgender, he's lucky to have such a supportive and unconditionally loving parent as you.

I think those judgmental women believe it's possible to somehow change a kid's innate orientation by controlling his creative impulses and shaming him when he makes the "wrong" choice. But all they succeed in doing is inculcating harmful values -- they can't turn a gay kid into a straight adult, but they can certainly turn a straight kid into a homophobic straight adult, or a gay kid into a shame-filled gay adult.

It is amazing (and sad) that Boo was already aware at such a young age that his costume choice might provoke criticism. The fact that he decided to go through with it anyway speaks more about his bravery and personal integrity than anything else. I wonder if his courage and self-confidence has something to do with the fact that you allow him to make these kinds of age-appropriate decisions. In any case, you must be doing something right.

Great photo, cute costume -- hope your kids had fun and got lots of candy!

Brandon's Big Gay Blog

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