“My son has had autonomy since he was a toddler.
From that moment forward, he has made as many decisions about his own body as possible.
Our only limits to this are around safety and hygiene.
As he has grown, he has experimented with his image…
He’s chosen to wear dresses.
Chosen to wear make-up. (He doesn’t wear it daily, but sometimes for fun, creativity, and play.)
Chosen to wear Marvel clothes.
Chosen to have long hair.
He’s chosen to have it cut.
He spent a good few months refusing to wear anything but his Monkey Onesie and I would have to wash and dry it as quickly as possible while he was furious with me the whole time.
He has sisters…all of their clothes are in one big box together.
They can all choose to wear whatever they feel like.
We have faced some negativity for this.
Not just when he’s been mistaken for a girl (not that he cares very much anymore), but when people have made comments.
‘That’s for girls, you don’t want that!’
‘Why don’t you just cut your hair like a boy?!’
It’s even worse with other children’s comments.
Children can be so cruel.
Taught stereotypes by society, they would sometimes laugh at him or purposefully call him a girl.
It’s not really their fault, they just haven’t learned about acceptance yet.
The first time he cut his hair was after one such incident.
I tried to talk to him, to explain this was OTHER PEOPLE’S problem and not his. But he couldn’t let it go right then, and I respected his choice.
Afterwards, he decided he preferred his long hair and he grew it back.
I think it took this moment to really empower him.
To see that what these people said, that having short hair, REALLY didn’t define who he was.
He very much identifies as a male boy (though we use they/them pronouns for anyone we don’t know!).
He just doesn’t give a crap about gender stereotypes, most of the time anyway.
‘But…what if he catches The Gay?’ *Shock Horror*
Well, then I’ll have a gay son.
Simple as that.
It’s really a non-issue…
BUT what he wears isn’t going to change who he is attracted to!
Now, when someone says, ‘That’s for girls.’
He informs them with absolute integrity.
‘No, it’s for PEOPLE!’
Well, that or he says…
‘It won’t make my Penis fall off!’
And guess what?
My girls live by these exact same principles.
‘It’s your body, it’s your choice!’
We’re also really lucky to be be part of a massively inclusive community.
We have so many friends whose children don’t even blink an eye!
This is about empowering all children to wear/play with what makes them happy, have the ability to experiment with self expression, and to challenge gender stereotypes.”
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This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nic Bescoby. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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