Cross Dressing Children
What will we allow our boys to wear and what toys can they play with? A girl wearing fatigues and playing with GI Joes barely raises an eyebrow. But Junior wanting a Barbie and fairy princess dress still makes us dads squeamish. Even me, and I'm gay for Pete's sake. You'd think I'd be all "woo hoo, party over here!" when my son clomps around the house in plastic pumps. But truth be told, there's a kernel of discomfort buried deep within my free wheeling, cool gay dad exterior.
The above picture was my son's idea. He plopped one of his sister's tutus on his head and pranced about in his version of a la-de-dah lady, something not seen since the grand ol' days of vaudeville. He then convinced Maxie to put a tutu on as well and demanded a photo shoot. It was campy and a lot of fun. The merriment ebbed. The tutu came off. He then got dressed in his uniform: jeans, tee shirt, hoodie, sneaks, and was off to school.
Bash is beginning to develop his own sense of style. For a while he fancied a pink pair of cat-eyed sunglasses. A girl in his class obnoxiously said, "Those are girl glasses." I immediately held my breath, taking more offense to the tone than the implication. But Sebastian parried with, "No, they aren't." Case closed. I didn't have to snatch the child bald.
I've blogged about the time he went trick or treating as Dorothy and his present attachment to a pair of Dolce and Gabanna girl boots, Sometimes a Girl Needs a Kicky Pair of Boots, and I've come to a conclusion... Much more important than any discomfort I may have, my children deserve the right to explore in a safe environment without being subjected to shame. Last thing I want to be responsible for are future therapy bills.
I couldn't tell you what Sebastian's sexual orientation will be, but he's incredibly social and if he can get the laugh, he very well might go out in public wearing a dress. Much like my uncle did in 1950's Norman, Oklahoma, singing to his high school assembly I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say No.
I never wanted to wear women's clothes and I'm gay. My uncle, who still puts on his Ado Annie drag from time to time, has been married to my aunt for more than fifty years. So love of the dress has nothing to do with what team you bat for. My husband, the ex drag queen, may disagree.
Tomorrow, I'm driving north for a good friend's wedding. By myself! It will be my first night away from my daughter since she arrived in our home. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to the break. But while I'm gone, I'm not going to think about Sebastian as my tutu wearing, future eyeliner applying son. I'm going to miss his smile, and the energy he gives me daily. His personality is brilliant, and it is my job, whether I fully approve of his choices or not, to grind those kernels of discomfort into dust, and protect the energy and light and humor and strength and vulnerability that is Sebastian Isaac.