A lesbian couple profiled in the L.A. Times is concerned about letting their young son go out on Halloween dressed as a princess in a tiara, not because of the outfit itself or what it might say about his gender identity, but because of how he might be treated by others:
A few weeks ago, the 4-year-old boy's desire to trick-or-treat as a princess sparked a dilemma for his two moms, Anna and Louisa Villeneuve: Which do you honor and protect, your child's independent spirit or tender feelings?
"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.
In this couple's case their dilemma was solved when their son went to a Halloween fair and saw several other costumes he wanted to try.
"What I don't want is for somebody to open up that door and say 'Dude, what are you doing in a princess dress?' " Anna said. "It might just be confusion, not disapproval. But that's the comment that will make my child feel like he's done something wrong."
In any event, they should probably talk to the parents of Princess Boy to see how it's really done.