My Beautiful Little Boy

born a son, raised as himself

Identity Tantrum

on March 24, 2012
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H getting ready for the wedding...not a happy camper

Though I love my son to death and there’s nothing I wouldn’t for H, like any parent there are moments where he can be very difficult. Part of the reason why I started this blog was to discuss the particularly challenging moments with H, which mostly revolve around gender identification, so that other parents out there dealing with the same issue (and I know you’re out there) would see they aren’t alone. I hoped to help encourage others to be supportive of their sons who, most of the time, prefer to be girlish. I’m not going to say they prefer to be girls, because I don’t think that’s true. At least not with H. I think he genuinely enjoys being a boy, only with…modifications.

All of that said, I’d be lying if I said they’re weren’t times when I wish I didn’t have to deal with it. Yesterday was one of those days. My sister-in-law is getting married and we were invited to attend the rehearsal, seeing as how my husband is in the wedding party. As we were getting ready, H threw a fit over the outfit I “forced” him to wear. 

When I asked him why he didn’t want to wear it, I got a typical 6 year old response:

Because I hate it! And because I look dumb.”

Of course, I promised him that he didn’t look dumb at all. Quite the contrary, I think he looks adorable…but you can judge for yourself. It was a nice button down shirt and slacks. Nothing too torturous. Now I know it’s nothing unusual for a first grader not to want dress-up, but naturally that wasn’t the issue. What H really meant was that if he was going to wear fancy clothes, he wanted them to be entirely different. Below is the outfit he picked out:

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There’s no denying how much happier H is in his outfit. You can see how he beams in the photos. However, to say not everyone in our extended family is supportive of our decision to raise H the way we think best would be an understatement and I admit that sometimes it’s easier to cave to expectations than it is to ignore the comments and looks passed our way. But in the end, H’s happiness was the final factor. My husband and I agreed that if we were going to be the parents we are proud of being, we’d deal with the consequences and went to the rehearsal with H dressed as he wished. 

Yes there were comments. 

Yes I had to bite my tongue more than a few times.

But all the mattered to me in the end was that H had a great time. He really is an amazing child and I’m glad he’s not as sensitive to the bigotry that I’m so fearful of. 

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12 responses to “Identity Tantrum

  1. RK says:

    He is so beautiful! Help him fiind his way to his happiness. It’s not his nor your nor your husbands fault he has an attraction to femininty. He looks to be a sweet, loving and innocent child. I believe your son has no control over what he is feeling and believes his feelings are just natural to him. It’s just my personal opinion that there are so many feminizing chemicals in the envirnoment and in our daily lives so many boys in the last thirty years have developed gender identification issues. Thirty years ago you never heard of “Princess Boys” but now there are probably millions, most afraid to share their stories.

  2. Thank you for your kind comment. I agree, he just is who he is and my job is to help find happiness.

  3. Rob M. says:

    Dear Mom & Dad of your son “H”,
    I admire the open minded courage that you both possess in allowing H to express the “fem” side of his personality.
    I have been a crossdresser since age 5 in 1961 and I can only wish I had parents as understanding and thoughtfull as you two are with H.
    Because once my Father figured out I was being sent to 1st grade in my older sister’s underwear, he put me on a strict diet of masculinity.
    While to this day I hate my Father for not supporting me, I also must very reluctantly thank him. Because crossdressing is not a phase that boy’s grow out of, nor one that we want to control.
    Only parents can teach good judgement & control. Thus as someone that has spent 50 of his 55 years as a crossdresser let me ask you both a question? How will you handle H when he’s a 6 foot tall senior in high school deciding to show up for school in a mini skirt?
    Women suffer with their desires for macho bad boys, so what woman is gonna marry H?
    What corporation is gonna allow H to show up for work in a women’s suit?
    My advice to you very nice parents is to keep H’s crossdressing @ home out of the public’s srutinizing closed minded gaze.
    Or for H’s overall happiness seriously consider SRS, so that he can dress as he chooses without future social drama

    • Thank you for your comments. As for what the future holds, I can only do what I feel is right for now.

      • Also, as for restricting his cross dressing to home means in a way that I’m sending the message that there is something to hide. I don’t want him to feel like he needs to hide who is. And as for what woman would marry him, H is kind and sweet and some of us women value that over anything else.

    • Lex Williams says:

      Rob M. is right to consider the future. But the nature of that future cannot be predicted based on the past. We are currently in a revolutionary time, with rapid transformation in society’s understanding and acceptance of the full spectrum of sexuality and gender. I see a future where your son and others are loved for exactly who they are. You are on the right side of history in taking a stand for freedom.

      Additionally, in letting your son express his full humanity, he will be a happier, more self-accepting person. This will make it easier for him to form relationships. That’s the best thing you can do to help him find love in the future.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I, too, have a somewhat girlie son. No so insistent as yours sounds but still he does like playing dress up. Because of that, since he started school a couple of years ago, I cut his hair right before school starts in the fall, then let it grow all school year. By the summer its a respectable girls length and he can dress up as he likes and can pass as a girl although he really never has wanted to go out in public that way. All fine with me.

    This last summer my sister who’s a teacher left her husband and she and her 5 yr old daughter came to live with my son and I for the summer. She’s a really girlie-girl and so’s her daughter. My sis knows about my son girl-interests so first thing she did was sew the two matching super poufie “sister” dresses and bought them matching pettiskirts outfits.

    He spent a summer being a girlie-girl himself. Frankly, my sister really pushed it and may have gone beyond what he really enjoyed. She had him out in public a lot. I noticed this year he wanted to get his hair cut a bit during the school year (which we did) and I’ve got the feeling he’s glad his aunt won’t be with us again this summer.

    I don’t think that eliminated his desire to dress up but from now on we’re going to make sure he can if he wants but only if HE wants to.

    I think the best advice is to be supportive, accepting but don’t push it. Let him decide what he wants and doesn’t want.

  5. crsdrsrsixtyone says:

    Pardon my blunt question here Mame but isn’t you r job suppose to be a parent looking out for H’s wellfare?
    I mean I agree with all of you in regards to supporting H. But I’ve also spent a few years now volunteering my efforts in front of the White House itself for SLDN, gay, and transgendered rights, have any of you?
    Just last month a 27 year old transgendered male dressed as a woman was shot in the head and killed at a Washington, D.C. bus stop. For no other reason than he/she was a man dressed as a woman. Three years ago a transgendered male also dressed as a woman was involved in a car accident in D.C. and died. Due to the EMT’s who responded to the scene spending to much time laughing at him once they realized they were treating a man and not a woman. I think we need to understand that this is reality, and not a fairy tale.

    • I’m not blind to the difficulties that may arise, but at the same time I’m not going to bully my son into being someone he is not simply out of fear for the hatred of others.

      I understand this is not a fairy tale. Believe me, I deal with the reality of it every day. But we also can’t let hate filled people dictate the way we live our lives.

    • jvoor says:

      The person who was shot at a DC bus-stop recently was a transgender woman, not a man. And I am pretty sure that the case you are referring to in regards to the car accident was also a transgender woman. They both identified as women, but they died because of people’s prejudice and misconceptions about who counts as a woman and because of their male bodies.

      Transphobia and homophobia are very real, and dangerous. But as H’s mom points out, hiding because of that doesn’t change anything. As she says, “We also can’t let people dictate the way we live our lives.” Hopefully this generation of children will grow up to learn that it is not okay to bully people, and that not every man was born a boy with a penis nor every woman born a girl with a vagina. And furthermore, there are masculine women and tomboys, and feminine men and princess boys. Sex, gender identity and gender expression are all different things and we need to respect that.

  6. jvoor says:

    PS. H looks so cute in the skirt, and so much happier!

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