Boys dressing as girls

Would you let your son dress as a girl for Halloween?

That’s the controversial question surrounding a 5-year-old boy who dressed as Daphne from Scooby-Doo this year for his preschool costume party. His mom has made waves by blogging about her son’s costume and the judgmental feedback she got from other moms about his get-up, which included tights, a dress and a wig.

On her blog, the mom writes:

“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.”

I think it’s a shame that people are making such a big deal out of this boy’s costume choice. It’s Halloween, people. A girl in my daughter’s preschool dressed as Buzz Lightyear and no one thought that she was having a gender identify crisis. These are kids dressing up like their TV heroes. What’s the big deal?

I think it all goes back to the double standard for little girls and boys. Girls can wear blue. Boys can’t wear pink. Girls who play with trucks are cool, but some moms worry if their boys prefer baby dolls to action figures.

At some point, kids are kids and the only thing that is going to mess them up is adults reading into every little decision and panicking that they might somehow end up “different.”

That said, the only thing that does irk me about this costume ordeal for this little boy is that his mother posted his picture on her blog. I don’t think that’s fair to this child, and neither is the media attention the mother has attracted by taking her story public on the Internet. A few judgmental looks from moms at preschool would never have affected her son like the media frenzy will.

I do think the mom has a reason to be upset and I don’t think she did it for the attention (although her blog now has more than 1 million hits and thousands of comments), but she could have kept her sons identify out of it.

What do you think about this boy dressing up as a girl character? Is it appropriate? What about his mom blogging about his choice?

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