Halloween | News | Transgender

Lesbian Couple Worried About Son's Halloween Princess Fantasies

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:

PrincessA 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.

The princess costume and the trick-or-treat dilemma [la times]

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  1. "...unless like the parents of Princess Boy who seem to what to turn their son into an money making business."

    Because nothing brings in the riches like having a non-gender conforming child. Who doesn't know that? That's why everybody wants one.

    Seriously, is it Opposite Day today?

    Posted by: ohplease | Oct 24, 2011 6:29:20 PM

  2. Come on. I dressed as Betty Rubble (Flintstones) when I was 5 and won the neighborhood costume contest. As someone mentioned, kids just get weird ideas in their heads. And that was 1977.

    Posted by: Paul R | Oct 24, 2011 7:47:22 PM

  3. I am the oldest of 4 sons, no sisters. When we were kids my mother, who obviously wanted a girl somewhere in there, dressed each of us in dresses for Halloween. It was the only day she could fulfill her fantasy of making dresses for a daughter. Thankfully she stopped when I was five. That would have been 1971. No scars on me or any of my bros.

    Posted by: Jersey | Oct 24, 2011 7:57:13 PM

  4. Wow. I have less and less hope for our LGB community ever fully comprehending the T in the acronym. Once we recover from the camp treatment of "trannies," perhaps we can look to the person so easily objectified, feared and marginalized. The fear of gender expression outside of the binary is rooted in our own homophobia.

    We are two dads. Our child told us at 3 years old we had the pronouns all wrong. We redirected away from "girl clothes" hoping our little boy would stay that way. After causing our child extreme distress by rejecting the consistent and persistent message that she was really our daughter, at 5 years old, we began to affirm our child and deliver our message that we unequivocally love her and "have her back." Now, we think of her as a girl.

    It took some mental gymnastics, but who can watch a child suffer and not respond? Our child's care is being directed by experts: MDs at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, a psychologist and teachers and school administrators who will give our child every chance she deserves to have a normal childhood. She does not feel like a transgender girl... she feels like a girl.

    The fear is so strong within our gay parenting community... as well as among those who want us to be happy and safe. If we could just redirect this, it will all be okay.

    I have come to understand that a very small number of kids are transgender... many more are testing gender roles, so they can understand their own identity within their gender assigned at birth. If the kid is actually transgender, no amount of caution, care and redirection will change that.

    We have been conditioned by our history as gay people to accept and believe that something did this to us... the assumption that we can nurture someone across genders is absurd.

    Anyone who is interested in info or support, visit TransformingFamily.org. It has saved our child.

    Posted by: John | Oct 25, 2011 2:32:25 AM

  5. I was never a princess but, the Wizard of Oz fan that I am, I did go as Glinda the Good Witch as a five-year-old in the early 90s. I remember my mom being hesitant, but I was very insistent. Everyone just thought I was a girl. In fact (according to my mom - I don't actually remember this) when I knocked on one door and a little old lady said, "Oh isn't she so pretty!" I turned around and gave my mom a devilish grin. But, no, I don't think being allowed to dress up as Glinda scarred me.

    Posted by: Jack | Oct 25, 2011 2:13:49 PM

  6. I still don't understand why everyone freaks out about how kids dress up. My three daughters have always been big into dance & theater and we have about 60 costumes in our basement. All the neighborhood kids come over and try them all on -- boys in tutus, girls in ninja outfits -- or a mix of whatever they can put together. They put on parades and shows and no one freaks out because the boys are in princess outfits. They're dressing up -- that's the whole point!

    Posted by: K | Apr 13, 2012 11:29:27 AM

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