5 year old boy dresses up as Daphne for Hallowe'en, other moms have gender panice


117 Responses to “5 year old boy dresses up as Daphne for Hallowe'en, other moms have gender panice”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hmm. The only problem with this outfit is that he needs a headband that matches the dress. That’s Daphne’s signature thing.

  2. chimonkey says:

    I knew as soon as I saw the article: It has to be in the American Midwest.

  3. PFR says:

    As the dad of a 5 yr old boy who went as a cross between Ariel and Snow White, I’m very glad to read this. Fortunately I live in a very cool community and he was welcomed with open arms (and lots of candy.)

  4. Zig says:

    I think most classic cross dressers are hetero and do it more for sexual satisfaction (someone correct me if I am off base).

    Of course, there are people who dress and present as the opposite of their biological gender so that they are in line with their actual gender or to reflect that they are “two spirit” or somewhere between the poles of classic male and female. Gender isn’t binary.

    Even at my age if I make a “gender incorrect” statement (incorrect to people who don’t know better or just find such things uncomfortable) I get negative reactions. For instance in the case of the story my sister told my folks and I about my nephew’s enjoyment of playing with a kitchen set along with a girl I mentioned that in pre-school my favorite toy was the kitchen set. My mother gave me an incredibly disapproving look. It’s amazing how she can speak volumes with just a quick look and leave me feeling horrible and guilty…

    Then again, having some deep conversations with my folks of late and making comments about trying to find out who I really am, or who I should be along with comments about being uncomfortable in my own skin I know my mother believes and is horrified by the idea that I could be gay. Of course, I think that would be easier than questioning gender identity. Though I could be wrong.

    Also I recently volunteered to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). A CASA is assigned to the case of any child removed from their home and put into the foster system due to abuse or neglect. Our job is to advocate for the child’s needs and communicate her/his wishes to the judge. We also do a thorough independent investigation of the particulars of the case and report it to the judge who takes our findings and recommendation very seriously. We then follow up and stay with the kid throughout the time they are in foster care being pretty much they’re only constant during that time. Anyway, too late to make a long story short, during training we go over different cultures and sensitivity including LGBTQ parents and kids. It’s a county in the rural NW of Georgia. I was surprised that a number of the people were supportive and understanding about gay/lesbian/bisexual people, but when it came to transgendered it was a completely different story. Everyone else in the class laughed about it (though not our trainer) and used the term “transvestite”. I wound up speaking up and giving a little lecture. Hopefully some of it was taken to heart.

  5. bobhughes says:

    My mom made a cannibal costume for me when I wanted to be a cannibal for halloween, I was on a cannibal kick that year after beating Jungle Hunt (Jungle King) on the 2600. The costume wasn’t exactly feminine (or masculine either) but it included tights painted to look like tribal tattoos… I thought that part was absolutely humiliating, and hated the way they felt, but nobody seemed to think anything of it but myself. All it would’ve taken was one comment “Are you seriously wearing PANTYHOSE?” to ruin trick-or-treating for the night, but anyone that brought up my costume had only pleasant thigns to say.

    Nevertheless, I still can’t stomach the idea of putting on tights — or getting a tattoo. I must have really had some gender ID insecurities when I was 8, for some reason. I think it might have been my grandma doing everything in her power to make me afraid of “acting like a sissy” after she caught me playing with her hairbrush years earlier. (She’s a nut.)

    So who knows.. maybe letting your son dress like a girl for halloween, or going to class in drag is good for affirming or questioning one’s gender ID. It wasn’t something I ever felt a need for, and it’s probably always going to make me scratch my head. If I have a kid, and he/she wants to be a high school transvestite, I’d let them – provided he/she first writes me an essay on what it means to them, what they hope to accomplish or learn, etc.

    Also I think there is a sexist double-standard. Girls doing guy things are just “tomboys” at worst (which isn’t a particularly perjorative term), or dressing for comfort or following some fashion trend at best. Guys dressing as girls is always going to be more questionable, and more frowned upon. At first glance it’s easy to blame it on “The Patriarchy”, but I think there’s a biological/evolutionary factor that women fronting as men do it to display power and independence, whereas men fronting as women are just indulging a kink, at the cost of reducing their outlook for procreation. Then again, I recently read about some animal species in which the males sometimes pose as females, so that the alpha-males, if so fooled, will try to mate with them until they are worn out for the remainder of the mating season – at which point the poser male then has his own way with the real females, with much less competition. Wish I could remember what animal it was (read this on Cracked, and it’s hard to take away many useful details about a minute after finishing an article there)

    • robulus says:

      If I have a kid, and he/she wants to be a high school transvestite, I’d let them – provided he/she first writes me an essay on what it means to them, what they hope to accomplish or learn, etc.

      Dear Dad,

      I hope to accomplish making you as uncomfortable as possible, because you’re such a douche.

      Signed, Your Kid.

    • robulus says:

      I’m sorry Bob. You probably didn’t deserve that. I just couldn’t resist. It was very juvenile of me.

      • bobhughes says:

        Haha, nah man, no harm no foul. I expected alot more snark than that. Though I not trying to set up a troll or anything, those really are my feelings on the subject, and I kinda expect those beliefs to be in the minority here. But I like to post them here anyway, because someone will probably present some new angles for me to consider & I like having my mind changed whether it’s over something as petty as halloween costumes, or something that I actually have a deep-seated issue over. So snark & snipe away, if it gets me thinking me more critically about an issue then I’ll enjoy it even more.

        @pablito: yes, there are a few people in America who believe in witches. Not the high-school Wicca “witches” that bury lockets and burn incense in the woods, but the kind of witches that cast harmful charms on people in their community that cause their kids to get chicken pox, investments to fail, spouses to get drunk and beat each other… obviously all witches’ fault, if the alleged victims are “good christians”. Fortunately most of these believers are in pillboxes on their lawns cleaning their illegal guns, hiding under coffee tables, and nervously leaving the house for more sunday-morning brain-rot. (I am a Christian myself, but I stay far away from the fundies & wannabe witchburners, doctor slaughterers, and other “christian taliban” like Palin’s ilk)
        And yes, they need to take that dogshit back to Africa and India so they can be free to kill witches and win accolades from confused villagers, as they have been doing there already for ages. It happens in the east indies and other places too. I haven’t heard of it happening in America since the Salem Trials. But as a people, I’m afraid many Americans are regressing back to that direction, baby-step by step. I’d not see that happen.

        Next point… if the kid turns out gay, he’ll probably be wondering at some point what “turned him” and why. There’s a strong possibility he won’t be secure in his newfound homosexuality. He might point an accusing finger at his parents for telling him it’s ok to dress like a girl, and then spend stressful years wondering if he’s really gay, or just transvestite, or possibly gender-twisted (and then gay or not, when corrected?), or something else. Sexuality seems to defy categorical classification in very many cases. I’ve just known too many people who came out of the closet only to later on realize they were never gay to begin with, and end up doing something they feel ashamed of for years to come.

        Also, no sexual expression at high school? Really? You must have had a boring time at school!

        I get this alot at bb:

        “Holy shit, WOW… you really didn’t spend jr high/high school trying to get laid? Even though MTV and the teen glam mags all swear to God that you’re parents are wrong about precocious sex & other risky activities which we’re too young to understand the full repercussions of, and that every pupil’s main focus for attending school is fucking? You must’ve been some kinda loser!!!!1 Underage sex never caused me a problem in my life!!”

        I knew kids that got away with it. None of the ones that started before 16 though.. any I heard back about are dead, in prison, or on food stamps & occupying multiple section 8 units.
        Granted, not every kid is fortunate enough to be brought up with a family-instilled sense of morality, honor, self-respect and responsibility. But I was. I learned alot in school, all kinds of academic and extracurricular pursuits. I couldn’t have cared less about getting laid until college… my first chance came in 7th grade after I asked a crush if she wanted to hang out sometime, and I seriously wanted to run when she said “she’d fuck me, but nothing more”. All it comes down to was that I wasn’t an adult… and even when I was, I still didn’t feel ready for sex until I was 23 and I do admit this is abnormal, (and actually I don’t think I was ready even then, since the girl was willing enough to resort to ultimatums and finally extortion, but couldn’t seem to tell me she loved me, and that’s all I had really been waiting for.. sigh)
        I hate when people say abstinence is a joke and a failure. It doesn’t have to be. My school didn’t even impose abstinence programs. If you have a good brain and caring parents, abstinence works. Parents are simply much more effective at promoting abstinence than a school or church. And if abstinence doesn’t work for you, then you just speak for your own (lack of) self-control of your organs, you collossal, complete dipshits. I’m proud to be in control of my genitalia; I didn’t care until I began to see just how hard this seems to be for some kids my age. Or is the problem not your lack of control, but the hopeless, irreversible sexualization of our youth in schools by sexually-harassing bullies and sexually-harassing predatory marketing in teen-targeted media? Kids were raping each other under the stairwells the year after I left junior high, and that’s a problem. My idea for solving it is using the same sexual harrassment laws on the books at workplaces, and enforce the hell out of em. Our high school had a strict sexual harrassment section in the handbook, and we didn’t have a single reported rape, sexual misbehavior or indecency issue, except for a couple of special ed students in their private elevator one day. If some little shit were to touch a child of mine at his/her school, I would leave work and be at the school with the police before the next bell rang, whether my kid was dumb or confused enough to “consent” to it, or not.

        I can’t believe I have to spell this out here: Gradeschool isn’t about sex, it’s about trying to learn enough to be successful later in life & gaining the maturity to be able to enjoy healthy sex, without screwing up your body, emotions, or even your future potential, now that kids apparently can’t resist recording themselves and posting it on the internet for all their future employers, other family members, etc to find.

        If parents want their kids to fuck each other (or their teachers) at school, then they can jerk their unfortunate kids outta my kid’s school and run a homeschool. And then they can feel free to lead them on in some sick students-teacher orgy that my kid doesn’t ever have to hear of, or watch on tumbler, or much less end up a part of it themselves. It’s outta my hands, outta sight, outta mind. Let the state police deal with it eventually.

        But you did hassle him, and point out that you didn’t approve. Did you not approve of teenage rebellion or just the form of rebellion where boys dress as girls?

        Sure I hassled him, I like to look out for my friends, but I didn’t understand why he would do that, plus it was really creepy and embarrassing to be around him when he’d do it. What’s he trying to do? I just don’t know. I figure why not add a purse stuffed with tampons, a feather boa and a sparkly tiara too instead of just a dress? If there’s a good reason to cross-dress in public, in high-school no less, then he should go all-out. It was a half-assed effort that I’m pretty sure was a litmus test to see if me and our other friends would for some reason applaud him, or just try to avoid him out of the major discomfort it caused for us (and many others – even at a very laid-back, “liberal” school). That kid’s now married (to an internet girl, but still) with children. I don’t think putting dresses on at school was conducive to that… but shit, hey, it’s certainly possible! I figure you just can’t be sure you’re not gay/ts/tg without at least giving it some consideration of some kind.
        Just do it in private for fuck’s sake.


        Ok, you’re someone who sexualizes gender nonconforming prepubescent children.

        Well, that sure came out of nowhere! Reading comprehension: Give it a chance.
        Or if you want to save some time, my post has nothing to do with what you said. It has everything to do with society’s natural apprehension towards allowing kids to explore cross-gender “play” at an age at which they will probably not have to deal with any of the repercussions (except of course from moms A,B,C.). All his peers treated him fine. So did mine, when I was 8 and wearing a costume that included pantyhose. But looking back on that still makes me feel just a tiny twinge of embarrassment. Unless the kid grows up to be a gender-twist, or have developed a kink for crossdressing, then I would guess that he’s really not going to want his mom showing snaps of the Daphne costume to his buds in high school, college and beyond.

        I don’t mean witches in the modern sense, e.g. Wiccans, various pagans. I mean in the traditional sense, the evangelical, puritanical sense. The “if-she’s-bound-and-thrown-in-the-lake-and-floats-then-she’s-a-witch” witch. Palin didn’t get a video-recorded witch-ward from her African expatriate former witch-killer reverend because she was worried about something she saw on The Craft. I believe the reasoning was to ward her from campaign-damaging hexes!

  6. mikeyg says:

    IMO there most probably is some genetic predisposition to a person’s sexuality. Almost everything about who we become has some genetic component as well as social. The argument usual is a matter of what percentage each component plays in our makeup. Nature versus Nuture, etc.

    A 5 year is very impressionable. Those early years are when they are beginning to form their opinions, attitudes,….the lens through which they will see the world.

    IF your child did have any predisposition to homosexuality, would you encourage it? Would you discourage it? What if your input as a parent was the single biggest factor that swayed them one way or the other? It could be very important what he is taught early. It might be important what he dressed as for Halloween. Who knows. Tacit approval means a lot. It might have made a huge impression on the boy.

    Doesn’t it seem like the life of a homosexual is probably a little bit harder than a heterosexual? Arguable? Maybe? Would you put that burden on a person if you didn’t have to? Which way would they be better off?

    I don’t think you can say the boy will just be who he will be. There are choices. Maybe you can’t outweigh predisposition in all cases, but what about the ones in which you can?

    I don’t think it’s the end of the world that the boy dressed like Daphne. Maybe no big deal. I don’t know the boy. I also don’t think you should dismiss the importance of all choices that may being made at an early age.

    • Brainspore says:

      IF your child did have any predisposition to homosexuality, would you encourage it? [...] Doesn’t it seem like the life of a homosexual is probably a little bit harder than a heterosexual?

      To paraphrase: we must be steadfast in our homophobia, lest our children grow up to be gay and then suffer the hardship of living with homophobia.

    • double_tilly says:

      “IF your child did have any predisposition to homosexuality, would you encourage it? [...] Doesn’t it seem like the life of a homosexual is probably a little bit harder than a heterosexual?”

      You should try living as a closeted gay male once.

      Perhaps the soul inhabiting the boy chose that life and that rad mother as a way of increasing his consciousness. Could happen.

      “Being gay and having no fashion sense is just too much for America, some of us aren’t even comfortable with gayness yet, much less non-stereotypical gayness.”


    • social_maladroit says:

      I don’t think you can say the boy will just be who he will be. There are choices. Maybe you can’t outweigh predisposition in all cases, but what about the ones in which you can?

      Your basic sexuality’s hardwired into your brain. Humans are very adaptable, and what you’re calling “choice” is mostly adaptation. For example, I might “choose” to be in the closet for a long time if everyone around me condemned my sexual orientation.

      Whether this (cute!) kid dresses up like Daphne on Halloween is not going to have any effect on his sexual orientation. How much support his parents give him, on the other hand, will have an effect on whether he can be comfortable with whatever his sexual orientation is.

  7. sfhock says:

    Alright, let’s cut to the chase here. Those mothers were TOTALLY RIGHT being angry! I mean, that kid rocked that outfit and most likely looked better in it than they could have ever hoped to.

    Just Sayin’

    • Ted8305 says:

      Right on. That kid pulled of an awesome Daphne.

      Besides, a boy dressing as Daphne is more drag queen. Gay would be a girl dressing as Velma ;)

  8. BookGuy says:

    “She [Mom C] continued on and on about how mean children could be and how he would be ridiculed.”

    Translation: Mom C went on and on about how mean children could be…after their ignorant parents taught them that it’s O.K. to hate, ostracize, and torment those who look, think, or act differently.

  9. UncaScrooge says:

    I’ve been looking for some hot, gay action. I’ll just put on this here dress and head down to the Castro.

    Hmmm. That’s odd. No one will look me in the eye. I think all these gay guys are into men, y’know, wearing pants and such. How very disappointing.

  10. naty2101 says:

    i think it is horrible the way those mothers (A,B, and C) were treating
    the child and his mother this world is falling apart with ignorant people like this.
    i mean sure it is a little odd that out of all the male characters in the cartoons
    he choose to be a female character but the mother just wanted to let her son
    be happy and i don’t see why she shouldn’t let him be happy its just a costume
    and he is just a little boy and even is that was the way the boy went on to live
    the rest of his life that would be fine too every one has the right to be happy
    as long as they aren’t hurting anyone.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Nobody worries that you’re a dog if you dress up as Scooby Doo…

  12. warreno says:

    It’s worth mentioning that the Halloween event was at a church-based preschool. It would be a grave mistake to overlook the influence of “Christianity” on the homophobic and idiotic reactions of those three putative adults.

    I feel the same about all concern rolls in this comment thread who are suggesting that there’s something wrong here. I’m looking right at you, mikeyg.

  13. fxq says:

    Must have not happened in the south, ’cause around here peeps would be screaming bloody murder if your kid dressed up as a skeptic.

  14. szcole says:

    That kid looks great, and picked an awesome character to go as for Halloween. Good for the mother! She rocks!

  15. AnthonyC says:

    My dad owned a pizzeria, but wouldn’t let me get the fisher price kitchen set. After I started pretending the toy tools were food and kitchen utensils, mom convinced him to get me a toy barbecue.

    Some people still just have odd hang-ups about gender roles. This boy’s mom did exactly the right thing, and kudos to her for sticking to her principles.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Those “other mom’s” need to get a life if that’s all they have to worry about.

  17. Pablito says:

    I think robulus got it right regarding bobhughes.

    ‘I think people who believe in witches should take itto Africa or India where they can find wide acceptance of archaic beliefs.’

    Well, Palin and O’Donnell seem to get a pretty wide acceptance in the US for their archaic beliefs, so no need to go to a place full of dark skinned primitives. (If you’re not implying that Indians and Africans are primitives who, in the main, believe in archaic beliefs then I apologise. But really, what other inference could one make? Even if you meant that some people in those massive and diverse places believe in witches, I’d hardly call it wide acceptance.)

    ‘The kid may not turn out gay — and if he doesn’t then he should feel quite secure in his sexuality.’

    But if he does turn out gay, he shouldn’t feel secure?

    ‘But he will spend the rest of his life thinking it’s OK to dress as a girl sometimes. If it’s worth the weird looks, headscratching, and outright hate from his classmates and peers, more power to him.’

    Oh no, he might think it’s OK to dress as a girls sometimes!
    As the article pointed out, his peers were fine with it. Good thing you weren’t his friend though, because…

    ‘Alot of guys in high school, even one of my friends, occasionally showed up to class in drag.I simply chalked it up to teenage rebellion against societal dogmas, and didn’t hassle him too badly about it, but I did make clear that I didn’t approve.’

    But you did hassle him, and point out that you didn’t approve. Did you not approve of teenage rebellion or just the form of rebellion where boys dress as girls? Did he approve of bigotry?

    ‘Hang all the labels on me you want…’

    oopps, I just did.

    ‘…but I simply think it’s not reasonable to dress up as the opposite sex, other than to indulge a fantasy or fetish — and whether that’s “OK to do” really comes down to set & setting, which IMO, excludes school-related activities, as K-12 is not a place or time for sexual expression.’

    So, the only reasonable purpose for dressing as the opposite gender is to indulge in sexual fantasy or fetish? Not for fun, not for plays, not for halloween, not to stick it to the man (even though that’s what you thought your friend was doing).

    Also, no sexual expression at high school? Really? You must have had a boring time at school!

    • Seraphim_72 says:


      If you are going to be reasonable, thoughtful and smart in your posts I am just going to like you more. STOP IT. Damn keyboard. NEVER STOP IT.

      When I was a Preschool teacher I had identical twin boys in my class. Even at age four they still had their twin language (and *still* had parts of it at age 8 when I last saw them). Great little guys. Their Mom was a creative mad woman and their father a (macho) school gym teacher. So All Hallow’s Eve comes up and she starts setting up their costumes. He has no interest. She hand makes them. Still no interest from dad. She takes them out trick or treating and brings them home. He turns to see the candy haul and….

      They are literally hand in hand dressed as Bride and Groom. He freaks, and she (according to her, I never could get him to talk about it) laughed her ass off at him.

      I guess he tried the ‘MY sons….’ thing at her. But she was cool, sexy and smart enough to deflect that. Something on the order of this same thing – Neither one is going to be made gay or commit incest by this – lighten up.

      They were actually both great parents, but it sure taught him a lesson :)

  18. Wendy Blackheart says:

    Its kind of ridiculous that parents react like this – I mean, where do they think kids learn their behaviors from? If you tell a kid ‘oh thats bad, its going to make you gay’ then the kids think that.

    A couple of years ago, my cousin, who was 6 or 7, was in my bedroom with me. He found a bobby pin on the floor, and asked me what it was. I told him it was for keeping hair in place. He wanted to know if he could wear it, and I said “Well, no, your hair is too short, it won’t stick” since I’m kind of logical like that. His dad was walking by and started freaking out.

    ‘Your a BOY! You can’t use bobby pins, only GIRL use them, thats SISSY AND GAY! BOYS CAN”T USE BOBBY PINS! GYAAAAH!’

    (Ok, I may have exagerated. But not by much).

    The poor kid looked so confused.

    I bet you anything this kids friends just though his costume was totally cool, because it was – very cute, accurate, and well put together! That’s what kids care about. I’m pretty sure dressing up as something doesn’t actually make you that thing, or all those years I spent dressing up as a queen would have made me a bitchy, dominant woman who expects people to do as I sa-
    ah shit, maybe they’re on to something.

  19. Aloisius says:

    Are most cross-dressers gay?

    Because as far as I know, the vast majority of cross-dressers are straight which makes a lot of the comments here kind of offensive.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Wow, it does make me hopeful to see a parent being so supportive. I do think boys have it worse than girls; there seems to be a lot more shame put on seeming “feminine” at any age.

    Was I the only girl, though, who was picked on for wearing “boy” stuff? I remember adults especially thought a ghost (???) wasn’t girly enough for some reason, and other kids (girls usually) who thought there was something wrong with wearing pants everyday. I didn’t really understand the homophobia aspect at the time, but looking back I realize that’s what the parents were frowning at anyway…

  21. ransom notes says:

    Way to go mom!!! I’da’ been right there with her. I’m a mother of a 4 year old boy who likes to wear lipstick. As he says, “I look awesome!” and I gotta’ admit – he looks better than me. :)

  22. CastanhasDoPara says:

    Next Halloween I am going as one of these mothers, or should that be monsters… flippin’ harpies that they are.

    Now that will be a scary costume.

  23. Anonymous says:

    That child has a mother who loves him. Thats it! No one else is that child’s mother! Anyone who believes that that costume is wrong is wrong them selves. No one is better than anyone and no one has the right to dictate how someone else raises their children. Especially in this situation b/c there is obviously no problem. Those mothers need to back off and worry about their own children… And anyone else who cant keep their thoughts of ruthlessness to their selves

  24. Lenny Dee says:

    I am actually more disturbed by their reaction to what they consider a gay person than their reaction to the costume.

  25. Phikus says:


  26. orwellian says:

    I’m surprised no one said about the moms:

    Christ, what (a bunch) of asshole(s).

    On the other hand, we all know that Daphne and Fred were going off to have sex. Poor Velma. She was stuck with the stoned dude that talked to his dog. Imagine trying to do it while the damn dog giggles in the corner. No wonder she moved in with Judy Jetson.

  27. jjasper says:

    Jinkies, even.

  28. neokimchi says:

    the really offensive thing here is how you keep spelling halloween with an apostrophe.


  29. Drhaggis says:

    Ultimately, I’m more concerned with this kid’s poor posture.

  30. Cefeida says:

    This is wonderful. Aside from just letting a little kid be whatever he wants for Hallowe’en, an important step in the fight for gender equality is not only letting girls wear pants, but taking the stigma off of boys wearing skirts. Little girls doing ‘boy’ things are considered cool, little boys doing ‘girl’ things shouldn’t have to be ashamed.

  31. Phikus says:

    They would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling moms.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Just like the common cold is caused by going outside without a coat, teh GHEY is caused by thinking GHEY thoughts… or looking GHEY… or being in proximity with others who have teh GHEY… see how this works?

  33. Anonymous says:

    Nawwwww, before the mean parents this story was really cute.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Velma isn’t gay, she totally had the hots for Johnny Bravo! Fred is the gay one, you can tell by the cravat.

    Now, if this kid had been wearing a cravat, and it wasn’t Halloween, clearly that would be wrong. Being gay and having no fashion sense is just too much for America, some of us aren’t even comfortable with gayness yet, much less non-stereotypical gayness.

  35. Anonymous says:

    My 2 year old daughter’s book “My First Halloween” includes illustrations of one of the children dressing up as an old lady, including earrings, dress, and a wig, and his sister being a (male) hobo.

    I don’t think people starting panicking about this kind of thing until quite recently.

  36. Anonymous says:

    In the original productions of Scooby-Doo all the parts were played by men.

  37. Cefeida says:

    Wow, I just read bobhughes’ comment. Seriously? Tell us, where exactly is the line that defines what sex one is dressed as? Because I have boobs and I am wearing trousers. That’s wrong, is it? Not okay?

    You don’t sound like a bad person but you need to realise that clothes are an ARTIFICIAL way of expressing ourselves, and do not define us. As fashion changes, some types of clothes tend to be preferred by people of one gender, yes. But in the end, wearing a skirt is not what makes you a woman.

    Yes, it IS actually OK to dress in a way that makes you look like you’re a different gender. Why wouldn’t it be? Can you come up with a single good reason why it wouldn’t be ok?

    • bobhughes says:

      Wow, it’s a shame I don’t troll anymore, what with the major force-feeding of hyper-reactionary and accusatory replies I’m getting. I’m happy to get one, small, dry reply when I comment here (actually I don’t care much either way, I’m more concerned about just leaving my $.02 … but, we all know it’s fun to get replies)
      Besides I can’t say I’m not enjoying this. People may be horribly misreading me, or falling into some real traps of premature conclusions, but I like that people are trying to get me more open-minded; openmindedness is a virtue that anybody could use more of.

      @Cefeida I guess you’ve got me here – The best-dressed, (and probably most physically attractive) person I dated often wore what I’d consider masculine-styled clothing… pinstripe pant “chick suits” that if were my size, I probably could’ve worn and most guys wouldn’t have realized it. Sometimes, people can pull it off really well. I’d guess around half or less of adult transvestites are gays, and despite her being a nice feminine girl, she looked hot in her guy-ish clothes, sortof in the way I find women holding large knives or high-calibre firearms is attractive, or the rare times they’ll play in a football game.
      And I know many guys feel the same. So on that token, I imagine crossdressing guys might be attractive to certain kinds of women… I never really thought of it in this light, at length.

      But to get more toward your point, the line is going to be blurry, but I think it’s highly effected by the reasoning in use by a full-on transvestite (who’s old enough to understand the consequences of doing so): “I want to explore”. “I just want to live a lie.” “Girl I like in 3rd period said it’d be hot.” They’re reasoning should indicate that doing this in public is worth the consequences – the willingness to make their friends, teachers, possible future employers and most everyone else uncomfortable in the process will be worth the reward. It’s a tradeoff, a sacrifice… unless you are serious enough to do it alone, in private — in which case it becomes nothing more than a truely introspective moment rather than just more “oooh just look at meeee please pay me attention I’m doign something WEIRD!”.
      And I think what defines the line for young kids who want to dress up as the other sex, for halloween or otherwise, is that it probably shouldn’t be done – unless you have no qualms with your children later in life developing gender and/or sexuality issues that you could have easily nipped in the bud with one gentle command: “That’s for girls(boys), not for you, son(hun). Now put it down.” They’ll instantly be embarrassed, as young children normally tend to want to identify with other children of the same gender. On the pre-school playground, most childrens’ gender basically decides which first “team” they will ever pal around with – the girls, or the boys. And of course they’ll play together some too, but the real camaraderies will be amongst those of the same gender, and thus, the same gender ID.

      Well maybe society needs to just grow up as a whole and stop balking at people who crossdress/people who cover their face and eyeballs in tattoos and piercings/cut & burn the everlovin shit out of themselves as “art”/other generally creepy-as-all-hell appearance decisions Nice thought… in a sense… but that ain’t gonna happen in this millennium.

      • CatherineCC says:

        I guess your message was lost in all that talk about fantasies, fetishes, kinks and sexual expression. In regards to a 5 year old.
        And what exactly is a “gender-twist”?

      • CatherineCC says:

        “And I think what defines the line for young kids who want to dress up as the other sex, for halloween or otherwise, is that it probably shouldn’t be done – unless you have no qualms with your children later in life developing gender and/or sexuality issues that you could have easily nipped in the bud with one gentle command:”

        Yeah, if only parents had been stricter with their kids, we wouldn’t have gay or trans people. It’s all the fault of the parents.
        Because every parent wants to shape their kid so they will have to face the most possible adversity in their lives and deal with daily discrimination and hate from idiots.
        What are you smoking?
        You don’t know a damn thing about this topic and yet profess to know everything. Fuck you.

  38. Anonymous says:

    when I first saw the picture in the original article I thought he had dressed as clown in a purple skirt. Didn’t know the truth till a ways down in the text.

    I always thought it wasn’t what a person wore that made them homosexual, but what sort of private bits that they are into.

    But hey I wear kilts and my first one was tie dye. The first tie dye anything I have.
    He likes Scooby, did the Scooby costume already. Thank goodness he did not dress as Fred, that sure would have made him a twink for sure. ;)

  39. MrJM says:

    Daphne, dammit!


  40. Chentzilla says:

    “Made faces as if they smelled decompilation?”

  41. taghag says:

    that is one cute kid!

  42. Jim Woo says:

    He looks great, but that’s not Velma. He’s dressed as Daphne.

  43. ryanrafferty says:

    This makes for a great Onion story:

    Local Mothers Uncover Cause of Homosexuality: Call for Ban on Halloween

  44. Anonymous says:

    And these moms get to be voters… explains an awful lot about the current dire state of the USA.

  45. Felton / Moderator says:

    I remember donning one of my sister’s dresses when I was five or so. It didn’t make me gay, but it did have a traumatic effect. It completely stunted the development of my homophobia.

  46. Uncle Balsamic says:

    That’s an awesome costume.

  47. mtdna says:

    Actually, there is a lot of speculation that Velma might have been… well… Let’s put it this way – she never had a boyfriend. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  48. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Doesn’t it seem like the life of a homosexual is probably a little bit harder than a heterosexual?

    From where I’m standing, Married With Children looks like a semi-documentary. You couldn’t pay me to sign on for the straight gig.

    • TEKNA2007 says:

      From where I’m standing, Married With Children looks like a semi-documentary.

      Roger that. Some get lucky, but so many don’t.

  49. thequickbrownfox says:

    The radical, obsessive gender observance in America is very quaint to people in the R.O.T.W.

    (That’s Rest of the World)

    Most movies and TV shows that emanate from the U.S. are keen to promote stereotypes such as the Jock, the Emo, the Dolly=girl and the Geek (or Nerd), which is a marker for anyone who possess knowledge above the limit of the average airhead.

    It is quaint to the point of being absurd.

  50. Phikus says:

    Next year he should go as Eddie Izzard.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I am saddended to hear that there are mothers out there that place a stigma on a child that is make believing. I have 5 sons. 3 of them played the parts of little orphan girls in the play Little Orphan Annie. 1 played the part of Annie and the 5th son, which was a step son that lived with his mother, would not get involved in any of the productions his brothers were in. In addition to the Annie production, all 4 of the boys were girls for Halloween at different times. They were all quite young during this time, very comfortable with their sexuality and have great memories of their performances for the elderly in the retirement homes. Doing this never put a damper on their playing baseball, football or wrestling. They were never made fun of, were very popular in school and even performed their skit when in High School for a talent show and by the way, they were a tremendous hit. Those boys are now all grown up, married with children and very successful in their lives and careers. One is an executive for PG&E, one is an animator, one is an optician and one manages a trucking company. One also made it to the Olympic wrestling team that went to Barcelona.
    To say the least, they are not gay. However, remember? I said I have 5 sons. Well the 5th son that chose not to express himself or have fun just being a kid, is gay. He spent many years hiding the fact that his sexual orientation was not what he felt would be accepted socially and as a result moved to Italy for 20 years to hide the fact. Now that’s sad.
    Bravo MOM for allowing your son to enjoy himself and raising him to be self confident enough to be a girl for Halloween. This in no way means he is gay. However, if he is, you love him anyway. By condemning a person for their sexual orientation is like saying that God makes mistakes and I don’t believe he does.

  52. SonOfSamSeaborn says:

    I was a little worried that the article was going to be a self-righteous tirade but it seemed okay after reading it. A sappy comment or two, but the funny part is definitely the fourth comment which contains the words “My son WHO IS NOT GAY used to paint his nails AND IS NOT GAY” (emphasis and second “is not gay”, tragically, all my own).

  53. Loozrboy says:

    I’ll tell you what I find deeply disturbing about this costume: the neon orange hair. Daphne’s supposed to be a redhead, not a troll doll! I mean honestly, what kind of neglectful mother lets her child wear such a crudely rendered costume?

  54. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I dressed in drag for Halloween back in the 60s when I was a child. Everybody back then seemed to think it was clever and funny. We seem to be headed back to witch trials.

  55. Anonymous says:

    That’s a big pumpkin.


  56. sigdrifa says:

    What’s bugging me about this kind of attitude is that no one ever says anything when a girl wants to dress in a male costume. I remember dressing up as a pirate or a cowboy (emphasis on *boy*; heck, I even had a (painted) moustache) as a kid and nobody ever said, “she’s gonna be lesbian if you let her do that.”

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s what homophobia and misogyny are. Anything that might have to do with a man becomng or acting like a female is a step down and degrading to a male, because women are looked at as inferior… but a woman dressed as a man is a step UP!

    • Anonymous says:

      Same here. I was a tomboy at a certain age and so my costumes (we didn’t celebrate Halloween here in Germany in the 1980s/1990s, but we used to dress up for “Karneval”) were accordingly… I remember being an “Indian” warrior and an astronaut (of course, there are female astronauts, but people conservative enough to complain about kids’ costumes would probably consider it a “male” profession). No one said a word. Same for having short hair and wearing jeans and camo shirts in normal life. I never learned about the tomboy/lesbian association until I was a (straight) adult and stumbled across it on the Internet. So apparently, people really have more problems with this when it comes to boys being interested in traditionally female stuff and/or wearing female costumes. In my family, I never had the opportunity to test that theory since my only brother is and was absolutely not interested in that kind of thing… he always loved cars and tractors and technology stuff and would freak out if someone tried to dress him in a pink T-Shirt or something. Completely left it to me to break gender roles. ;-)

  57. nanuq says:

    You’d think these mothers would approve of a boy dressing up as a lesbian.

  58. General Specific says:

    He looks like a happy kid. I’m sure those other mothers love their children just as much as Boo’s mom loves him, but they really should be ashamed of the example they set.

  59. Zig says:

    I’ve seen this recently. My brother-in-law was terrified to learn that his son enjoyed playing with the kitchen set my sister’s friend had for her daughter. My nephew is not even 2 years old yet…and his father is concerned about gender roles already!?!

    I was watching him a lot a couple weeks ago. I was sooooo tempted to teach him to say “Daddy, I really like pink.” but I figured my sister would kill me.

    This kind of thing has been going on for a while though. I remember when I was a kid that anytime I made a “girlish” comment my folks would freak out and lecture me that I was a *BOY* damnit! Talk about making a kid guilty about questioning identity…

  60. jackie31337 says:

    About 10 years ago, I worked in a preschool. We had a dress-up box with all kinds of costumes. One day, a little boy put on the prettiest dress and jewelry he could find, and proudly declared “I’m a princess!”. It was just about the sweetest thing I ever saw.

  61. turtlecrk says:

    Reminds me of South Pacific:

    You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
    You’ve got to be taught from year to year,
    It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
    Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
    And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
    Before you are six or seven or eight,
    To hate all the people your relatives hate,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught!

  62. Decay says:

    that’s a great costume, shame people were so negative about it. My brother used to dress up as Minnie Mouse. I teased him for it but not seriously, it’s only a bit of fun.

  63. CheshireKitty says:

    a. He looks great!!
    b. as for moms…haters gotta hate? That is so sad.

    • Nashville Guy says:

      I remember being four or five and telling my mother my favorite color was pink. She said, “Oh no, you can’t like pink at all. Pink is a girl’s color.”

      And I thought, why do girls have all the luck? I’ve grown out of such childish attitudes, though. Now I think that if someone–regardless of gender or sexual orientation–likes the color pink all it means is they like the color pink. My only regret is that I never asked my mother why only girls could like pink.

  64. caipirina says:

    I did the gender switch thing for Fasching (German’s halloween) when I was around 15 .. and i loved it (who know that stockings are so warm) …

    Did it make me gay? nope … though a pal of mine who did the same lost his GF over this … she said that he was too convincing as a lady :)

    but moms teaming up like that ??? scary shit

  65. Shane says:

    Reminiscent of the “My Princess Boy” post from October. Cory, you may want to link to it in your OP.


  66. Scott says:

    The difference between mommies and high school girls: the pettiness and backstabbing revolves around kids.

  67. Shay Guy says:

    On Purim, crossdressing is encouraged.

    Also, second “Velma” in the post needs fixing.

    • RockMutha says:

      I can’t believe this mother, its so irresponsible. That purse looks awful with that outfit. That’s no way to raise a gay boy.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Astounding that for a little boy to dress as a girl is taken to be more scary, threatening to his psychological future – and just abhorant, than if he were to dress as a vampire, chainsaw massacre(er), political villain or some other creep or ghoul.

    Those Moms must think women are Monsters!

  69. social_maladroit says:

    Sure he’s not gay. And Christine O’Donnell is not a witch.

    Wait…what was Antinous talking about?

    (Now “Nerdy Apple Bottom”? That’s kinky.)

  70. Kimmo says:

    So it’s halloween
    And you feel like dancin’
    And you feel like shinin’
    And you feel like letting loose

    Whatcha gonna be
    Babe, you better know
    And you better plan
    Better plan all day

    Better plan all week
    Better plan all month
    Better plan all year

    You’re dressed up like a clown
    Putting on your act
    It’s the only time all year
    You’ll ever admit that

    I can see your eyes
    I can see your brain
    Baby, nothing’s changed

    You’re still hiding in a mask
    You take your fun seriously
    No, don’t blow this year’s chance
    Tomorrow your mold goes back on

    After Halloween

    You go to work today
    You’ll go to work tomorrow
    Shitfaced tonight
    You’ll brag about it for months

    Remember what I did
    Remember what I was
    Back on Halloween

    But what’s in between
    Where are your ideas
    You sit around and dream
    For next Halloween

    Why not everyday
    Are you so afraid
    What will people say

    After Halloween

    Because your role is planned for you
    There’s nothing you can do
    But stop and think it through
    But what will the boss say to you

    And what will your girlfriend say to you
    And the people out on the street they might glare at you
    And whaddaya know you’re pretty self-conscious too

    So you run back and stuff yourselves in rigid business costumes
    Only at night to score is your leather uniform exhumed
    Why don’t you take your social regulations
    And shove ‘em up your ass

  71. Xenu says:

    Bah, what you do when you’re 5 doesn’t impact your sexuality. I played with Barbies when I was a kid, that’s what my female friends liked to do. I’m not gay.

    Although I do like skinny women for some reason. Hmmm…

  72. Anonymous says:

    What is “panice”?

    As for the cross dressing, it does not make him gay or transgendered – it is normal for preschool and kindergarteners to cross dress, it is an important part of their developmental play – role playing. Meh, the “panicked” moms should shut their yaps because their own sons will do the same thing at some point.

    - Ethel

    • Caroline says:

      For real. Kids like to imagine themselves in various roles. Crossing gender lines in that kind of imaginative play proves precisely nothing about a kid’s ultimate sexuality or gender identity.

      Although getting crap for it, especially from parents, teachers, or other trusted adults? Might screw you up in the head about your sexuality and gender identity, no matter what those are.

      And that is a really awesome costume.

  73. JasonsRobot says:

    Hey Parents who let their kid dress as a pirate: You know pirates are nothing but thieving murdering raping arsonists, right?

    Besides, regarding Scooby-Doo characters: Everyone knows Fred’s the gay one.

    • JimEJim says:

      You make a good point about pirates. Maybe what the mothers really should have been worried about was this kid running around solving mysteries or smoking joints in painted vans with skinny hippies.

  74. CastanhasDoPara says:

    This just occurred to me but what of the Scots and their kilts, or the Roman legions and their skirts, or tunics and togas for that matter look a lot like dresses to me. Does that make all of those groups (and certainly others) less “manly?” I should think not. Indeed clothing is an outward expression of a lot of things. Or just a personal preference, for instance a friend of mine likes to were a long skirt while he plays his conga and claims that it is just more comfortable. Also, for the personal touch, it did annoy the hell out of me that when I chose to wear a kilt (and full highland regalia) for a school speech class that the first thing most of the “idiots” thought was, “dude, why are you wearing a skirt?” Seriously, GTFO jackass.

  75. Brainspore says:

    Halloween costumes can have a huge impact on personal development. For example, all the mothers who hated this idea used to dress up like witches.

  76. Cefeida says:

    “And I think what defines the line for young kids who want to dress up as the other sex, for halloween or otherwise, is that it probably shouldn’t be done – unless you have no qualms with your children later in life developing gender and/or sexuality issues that you could have easily nipped in the bud with one gentle command: “That’s for girls(boys), not for you, son(hun). Now put it down.”

    Okay. This is where we will never agree. There is no way I would ever, ever tell a child that their gender determines how they must act, dress, or think. I don’t think there is a good reason to do that. I don’t think what you call ‘gender issues’ are something bad, something that needs to be ‘nipped in the bud’. It’s a sort of circular argument- you do not want boys dressing like girls because you thing it’s wrong for boy to dress like girls. I guess mine is just as circular- I do not mind boys dressing as girls because I don’t think it’s wrong for boys to dress as girls. The reason I believe I am right, and you are wrong, is that men and women are equal, and there is nothing EXCEPT prejudice preventing them from pursuing the same goals in life. Therefore, there is no logical reason I can accept for telling a boy that he can play with trucks, but not with dolls, or wear pants, but never a skirt.

    In fact, that is what I WOULD nip in the bud- the conviction that what we are allowed to do is determined by our gender. What you are doing, in essence, is teaching your children that men drive and women cook.

    People are a lot more diverse than you think.

    • bobhughes says:

      We’re both drawing on alot of subjective as well as objective experiences. I’ve never claimed to be a behavioral researcher, and I’m not even a parent. Since you are a parent, 5x over, I would expect that your experiences & observations would carry more weight than mine.

      This discourse has made me more open-minded, and I’ll be less concerned about “correcting” behaviors in my future children that don’t conform to socially accepted gender-role stereotypes.
      But when they are old enough to think critically & discuss it intelligently, I still plan to address any such behaviors, and make sure they’re not being expressed for a bad reason (peer pressure, media/marketing influences, special attention). I’d love a transvestite or homosexual child of mine the same as I’d love one that isn’t… but I would certainly be saddened in thinking of how they’ll be forced to put up with all of the misunderstandings, misgivings, and irrational hate that is doubtlessly going to be inflicted on them by the mainstream expectations of society — which no amount of gay-pride parades is going to change (in fact, such displays are often counter-productive towards the assumed goal of acceptance, but that’s a lecture for another day).

      My transvestite pal from HS is married with children himself. But I still don’t see what he could’ve possibly gained by his antics in school. I can only assume he was exploring his gender and/or sexual identity… but why in public rather than in private, if not to impose himself on his classmates? I remain steadfast in my belief that gender & sexuality issues have no place in schools, other than in sex ed, and even that should be limited to discussion – not expression, and especially not demonstration.
      I don’t need my kids putting up with stumbling into their classmates going to 3rd base under the stairwell in 5th fucking grade, as I had to put up with myself. Save it for after school, ya little animals.
      Granted, I attended the most violent and depraved (non-alternative) school in my entire state… so much for “integration” – unsurprisingly, it doesn’t have the expected benefits when one racial group is exclusively bussed in from violent housing projects & section-8 tracts, and the other group from distant, lower-middle class suburbs. Rather than one group inspiring the other into being academic, considerate, tolerant people, the majority of the student populace became unfeeling, uncivilized thugs – regardless of their background. And I’m constantly thankful that I retained any degree of acceptance & didn’t join some sort of racially-motivated hate group. Instead, I became an equal-opportunity bigot for the rest of my childhood & most of my adulthood.

  77. jdollak says:

    I dressed up as Vasquez from Aliens for one Halloween. But I don’t think anyone understood who I was.

    • knoxblox says:

      I traded genders with a female friend of mine in college in the late ’90s for Halloween. She was the gun-toting gangster and I was her moll. None of her friends (who are now probably mothers of five-year-old kids) seemed to have a problem with it, and they knew I was hetero.

      I also can remember there was always one person or another who dressed up as someone of the other sex every year when my parents would attend Halloween parties, and it didn’t raise any eyebrows.

      I fail to see how this is different for a five-year old.

      P.S. This reminds me of my favorite Halloween costume — Freaks and Geeks’ Martin Starr/Bill Haverchuck dressed up as Jaime Sommers/The Bionic Woman.

      • knoxblox says:

        Hmmm…ultra-conservatives sure seem to be getting uppity these days, what with a mixed-race President, brown people spilling over the border, those damn homos wanting equal representation, and now — boys dressing up as girls.

        You’d think the world was coming to an end.

  78. Maggie Koerth-Baker says:

    No, no, these mothers are being reasonable. To this day, I am stuck being a giraffe that everyone thinks is a chair.

    • Doom-Kitten says:

      “No, no, these mothers are being reasonable. To this day, I am stuck being a giraffe that everyone thinks is a chair. ”

      I have a photo on my computer of a chair that was made out of a baby giraffe, which your comment instantly reminded me of. Unfortunately not even Tineye could find a copy of it online…

  79. bobhughes says:

    @social maladroit: As vehemently as she protests it, I’m 95-99% convinced ChristineOD is a witch. “Me thinks thou dost protest too much”, and stuff. Not that I believe in witches, but she and her mentor, caribou barbie, apparently both do. I think people who believe in witches should take itto Africa or India where they can find wide acceptance of archaic beliefs.

    Back to the issue at hand, I think the mothers were genuinely concerned, rather than castigating. They just don’t understand, and who can blame them? Few people do. I don’t think I understand it well myself, but enough at least to not be afraid of it.

    The kid may not turn out gay — and if he doesn’t then he should feel quite secure in his sexuality. But he will spend the rest of his life thinking it’s OK to dress as a girl sometimes. If it’s worth the weird looks, headscratching, and outright hate from his classmates and peers, more power to him. Alot of guys in high school, even one of my friends, occasionally showed up to class in drag. I simply chalked it up to teenage rebellion against societal dogmas, and didn’t hassle him too badly about it, but I did make clear that I didn’t approve. Hang all the labels on me you want, but I simply think it’s not reasonable to dress up as the opposite sex, other than to indulge a fantasy or fetish — and whether that’s “OK to do” really comes down to set & setting, which IMO, excludes school-related activities, as K-12 is not a place or time for sexual expression.

    Also nice costume, just looks kinda creepy on a boy. Probably not store-bought since it’s not lasciviously revealing; I’ll bet it took alot of time.

    • CatherineCC says:

      “But I did make clear that I didn’t approve. Hang all the labels on me you want, but I simply think it’s not reasonable to dress up as the opposite sex, other than to indulge a fantasy or fetish — and whether that’s “OK to do” really comes down to set & setting, which IMO, excludes school-related activities, as K-12 is not a place or time for sexual expression.”

      Ok, you’re someone who sexualizes gender nonconforming prepubescent children. I’m no shrink, but that’s pretty fucked up.
      Your second point about K-12 not being the time or place for sexual expression. Wow. Have you been to a high school lately? A middle school?
      Or do you mean that heteronormative sexual expression is totally ok – while us queers should be sent to isolation camps and kept away from the other precious snowflakes lest we infect / recruit them?

      Aloisius “Are most cross-dressers gay?” Nope.

    • LadysmithLiz says:

      Most (if not all) of the witches in Delaware are quite upfront about her NOT being one of them. If she is a witch, she’s a solitare, and not affiliated with any known coven.

  80. ArtF says:

    There must be something about Daphne because she seems to be the female Halloween costume of choice for boys from 5-8. I remember two occasions when boys in my daughter’s class decided to be Daphne for Halloween. These “adults” in the article need to grow up and let kids be kids.

    The Machine starts to gnaw at them earlier and earlier these days and it’s hard to keep them innocent for long so let them enjoy this time to the fullest.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Now I’m very worried. On Halloween I saw boys dressed up, not just as girls, but opposite-gender animals like cows. What will this do to them?

  82. ill lich says:

    “So he’ll turn gay if he dresses as Daphne? Well that beats letting him dress as Shaggy, and then turn into a drug addict!”

    Eventually people will learn: you don’t TURN gay, you are BORN gay, like it or not.

    • HandsomeDevilry says:

      Well, here’s another possibility – that orientation IS actually set in early childhood and relatively fixed thereafter. It would still be as good as innate in the sense that you can’t do anything about it (the failure of reorientation therapy is pretty much proof of that), but it’s possible that, scientifically speaking, it’s not determined until a certain stage of development.

      After all, we have a lot of innate programs that seize on early stimuli. What you eat in the first few years largely determines what you deem edible later. (Supposedly this is so that you don’t wander out of the cave at age 5 and eat something poisonous.) And obviously everybody has the propensity to learn language, but what language you learn is determined by your environment.

      It’s sad that the political environment is still anti-gay enough that we don’t actually WANT to know what the cause is. If there is a “gay gene” we are basically reluctant to isolate it, for fear of the ethical ramifications. Same would be true with my little pet theory.

      As long as the world is an unsafe place for people of a certain orientation, I don’t think we’ll really achieve a scientific understanding of it.

      But of course I’m just talking out my ass here. If anybody knows more about it I’m all ears.

      • hashashin says:

        I think it is unlikely that sexual preference is entirely genetic, because there are instances where identical twins have different sexual orientations. However identical twins are more likely to both be homosexual than fraternal twins, for what it’s worth.

      • robulus says:

        We’re complex creatures and sexual orientation is a complex spectrum, not a 1-bit switch.

        The salient point is that if you suggest there is an early environmental component, it is very hard to speculate on what effect endorsing or forbiding experimentation with gender roles would have, if any, and why, exactly, it matters.

        On the other hand, one course is clearly positive and affirming, the other is negative and restricting. That is where I’d be basing my decision.

  83. robulus says:

    There was an article in a parenting magazine here about what to do if your toddler son wanted to try dressing in female clothes. Here are the two alternative responses suggested:
    1. Freak out and stop this misfit behaviour at once.
    2. Accept your son is gay and start raising as such.

    I mean, what the fuck? They’re little kids, yet to discover they are locked into a gender role that has to be religiously observed for the rest of their lives, lest they be cast out. They are naively curious to experiment with the differences they see. What about option 3: Don’t give a shit, and let them dress and play how they like, ‘cos, you know, they’re kids?

    I rocked up to pick up my 3 year old boy from daycare one day and he was wearing a satin cheongsam. Apparently he’d been in it all afternoon. We had to prise him out of the thing, he loved it!

    Let kids enjoy a few short years of innocence before being completely subsumed into the machine. Please.

  84. sterling says:

    I didn’t realize until a few years ago why my very liberal mother had such a great time helping me stuff a bra, put on one of her old poodle skirts, and fix my makeup one Halloween for my Cub Scout Halloween party at my Catholic school until a few years ago. This is why. People like those mothers are ****s.

  85. Suburbancowboy says:

    Ya know, the kid just might be a huge MGMT fan….
    (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

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