“My husband and I live in Cairns Far North. We have three children between us, two girls aged 6 and 7 and a boy aged 2 and half. We are just a regular family, except one thing.
My son likes to wear dresses.
And people have lost their mind about it!
On May 11 this year, my husband Naj and I got married. We married on a beautiful Island off Cairns and it was the most perfect day. There were a few things that went wrong that day, like the wedding cake arriving with a massive stingray cake topper, but that is another story!
I wore a beautiful ivory dress, my girls wore beautiful peach and white flower girl dresses and my son…..he wore a blue flower ‘boy’ dress.
I know, it’s not conventional but it made him so happy, so we didn’t think anything of it. You see, my son had three outfits for the day. I ordered a kilt from Scotland (my homeland) but as soon as it arrived, he wouldn’t go near it. For whatever reason, he didn’t like it and whenever I brought it out it was the same story: he cried and ran away. Getting closer to the day, Naj went out and bought a suit that matched his. It was such a great suit and they would have looked so adorable together. But again, he wouldn’t even try the thing on! He saw his sisters flower girl dresses and wanted to know where his was. I knew deep down I was going to have to get him a dress for the wedding.
So, we did.
Let me tell you a little bit about our boy. He is sensitive, funny, and EXTREMELY active. He doesn’t walk anywhere, he runs! He loves to play chase with his sisters; their favorite game to play is called ‘poison baby.’ I don’t even know the rules, but it involves A LOT of running. Our boy loves nothing more than having a cuddle, painting, and being at the park. He is just a regular little boy.
Our boy doesn’t yet know that he is a boy. He idolizes his big sisters and they adore him! He wants to be just like them and that includes wearing pretty clothes, just like them. Its so innocent and pure, it’s really sweet. He will wear dresses to daycare, to stores. Wherever, really. What he wears does not define who he is, its an expression of his personality and, at this point, he wants to be like his sisters. And that’s okay.
When my photo of him in a dress at my wedding hit the internet, I got a lot of support and not too many people seemed to have anything to say about it. There have, of course, been the odd comments but I didn’t focus on them, they didn’t matter. However, once my photo got picked up by some media outlets, I have realized that not everyone thinks the same way I do. Crazy, right?!
While a lot of people have reached out in support, I’ve experienced the other side of that too.
‘You should have made him wear the suit!’
‘He is 2. He doesn’t get to decide what to wear.’
‘I have no time for that. They wear what they are told and that’s it.’
‘You have violated his human rights.’
‘This is evil.’
I’m not going to lie, these comments are hurtful. He was so happy on my wedding day and looked so beautiful. I couldn’t understand how anyone can think that is evil?
Here’s the thing. My son is 2! He is a 2-year-old boy! He is not choosing gender reassignment, he is not making a political statement, he is 2! It shouldn’t be controversial. He just wants to feel good in what he wears. When we get dressed up, do we not want to feel good, too? I know I do! Just because he is a toddler doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his own personality, his own taste. It may not always suit my expectations or it may be inconvenient or unconventional, but that’s parenting. You love your child above anything else.
For us, loving our children is top priority. What they choose to wear will NEVER effect how we feel about them. We want happy children that feel comfortable to express who they are. If that means our son wears a dress then so be it. If my daughter chose to wear a suit, we would still be having the same conversation.
We want our children to grow up confident with who they are, knowing they are loved and accepted by their family. That’s the only opinion that matters. Their own.
And you know what else is important?
That kindness and acceptance spills out into the world. That they grow up to be kind and accepting adults, the world needs more of that!
There are 2 quotes I love that really sum up how I like to parent.
Its not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It is our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless. – L.R. Knost
Your children are not a masterpiece that you create. They are their own masterpiece creating themselves, and you have been given the privilege of watching them be the artist. – J. Warren Welch
It is our job as parents to let our children be who they are meant to be, and love them anyway!”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Joanna Minuzzo. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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