Halloween Dilemma: Should Parents Let Boy Dress as a Princess?

If a girl wants to dress like a boy this Halloween, that seems like a good lesson in busting gender stereotypes learned. But what if your boy wants to dress up as a princess?

That's the dilemma facing one family in Glendora, California, this Halloween:

"My first reaction was 'He wants to be a princess? We're there!' " said mama Anna. But almost everybody she talked with about Luc's intention told her, "Whoa; that's a bad, bad, bad idea."

For a girl who grew up wanting to dress like a boy, Luc's choice felt like a blow against stereotyping. "But I'm trying to leave my inner activist at home," she said, "and just do what's best for my son.

"It's one thing to say 'Son, you can be anything you want. Our society needs to be less uptight.' "

It's another thing entirely to consider how a boy in a princess dress will be treated when all the other boys are trick-or-treating in Superman or Power Rangers costumes.

"I want to encourage him to stand up and be himself," she said. "But my 4-year-old is too little and too fragile to know where the social boundaries are. And I don't want his feelings hurt on what should be one of his happiest nights."

Oh, did I mention that the parents are two gay moms?

Anna and Louisa remember the sea of "Yes on 8" signs that sprouted around them in 2008, when the measure banning gay marriage was on the ballot. Gay marriage was rejected that year by voters, just months after the couple officially wed on June 17, the first day gay marriage was legal in California.

Now, Anna envisions those folks snubbing her trick-or-treating princess-boy.

"I imagine that when those Glendorans shut their doors, they're going to say 'See, that's why lesbians shouldn't raise children.' "

Sandy Banks of The Los Angeles Times has the story: Link (Photo: Gina Ferazzi/LA Times)

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What this story doesn't explain is how wacky Glendora is. Their population generally wealthy, religious (mostly LDS), and deeply conservative. Seriously, it's the town that time forgot. So, while doing your mental calculation, add in the fact that people are unusually judgmental in this sleepy little town.

Having said that, they're over-thinking it. Next week, he's going to want to be a dump truck, then a witch, then Spiderman, etc. I think they're more worried about how the adults will treat their family than their kid being bullied.
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As long as he doesn't want to dress as a mexican, right? Because that would be demeaning to mexicans just like being a princess is demeaning to women. Woman sterotypers!!!!
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What on earth makes anyone believe that a 4 year old child knows what's good for him/her? Parents are there to make sure children avoid getting hurt.

How hard is that to understand?

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