New Here! Need Advice-Boys being Girls??

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2004
New Here! Need Advice-Boys being Girls??
Thu, 08-23-2007 - 11:01am

Well I usually lurk around the 2005 play group, but thought I would ask you all on here what your opinions may be on my latest issue.
I have 2 boys. My oldest is 6 and just started 1st grade. I also have a 2 1/2 yr old as well.
Ever since I can remember my oldest has always played with girl things. I am talking dress up, hair, makeup the whole nine yards! We always brushed it off as something he would "grow out of" and didn't think to much about it. He is around a lot of women and used to stay at home with me for the 1st few years.
For about the last year or so it's been more extreme. He now tells friends he is a girl, and even has told me he will be a girl when he is an adult. He says he will 1st go to buy a wig, then wear the wig to buy the that no one will tease him about it in the store. He has made friends this year at school, but they are girls.
He does like to fish with his dad and play with his brother. But he is not interested in playing any sports or any other activites. Of course my husband thinks this is his fault in some way b/c they don't always get to spend a lot of qualitity time together, which we have been working on.
I am most concerned at this point about him being made fun of. I have made his teacher aware of everything, so that she can keep an eye out for teasing.
I love me son more than anything, and just want him to be happy, however he chooses.

So I guess I am just asking for your opinions. Should I be worried? I have found a few doctors in my area that deal with Gender Identity Disorder. Is this normal for boys to go thru this phase? I just don't want to throw him into counceling or make a big deal out of nothing. Any advice/opinions would be appreciated!


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2003
Thu, 08-23-2007 - 8:30pm

Sounds like my guy a little bit. He has said before that he wants to be a girl, but he hasn't said it in a long time. He LOVES the girls, wants to play with his "groovy girl" but is at the point where he gets embarrassed if someone knows he has it. Just tonight he kept saying his towel was a dress, and that his robe was a dress. I found myself getting frustrated with him, but how can I? If he is using his imagination, then what does it matter? I never thought about "gender identity dissorder." School is starting next week, and I am hoping he makes some good boy friends. Your husband can not blame himself for anything. There is nothing wrong, and there is no fault. You son, like mine, is a loving boy just finding his way. Please keep me posted, because the two boys sound very much a like. Does your son like theater or dance? My son loves to dance and make up funny skits. He loves to pretend he is in American Idol.

It is hard to think of your son in a different light, but like you said, you (and I) just want them to be comfortable in their own skin, and happy. I, like you, do not want my son made fun of, either. It's such a painful thing to think about.

Please, keep me posted.

Good luck.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2004
Fri, 08-24-2007 - 9:37am

They do sound very much alike.

My boy LOVES anything he can do for attention. He loves singing, theater, name it. I actually made an appt. with a counselor here where I live, but after talking it over again w/ DH last night we are going to wait. We both think it may be nothing to worry about until 8-9 yrs old. At that point I would think if something is "wrong" (I hesitate to use that term) but if something is going on, it would probably be more noticeable at that age. If it is GID, then he would prob. want to start wearing girls clothes, ect. Which as of now, he is not. Please keep me posted as well. thank you for your opinion. I am curious is your son around a lot of females? Is/Has he been home with you when not at school?
Thanks again!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2007
Fri, 08-24-2007 - 10:02am
I just have to say, both of you are wonderful moms; it sounds like you are doing exactly the right things by being so accepting and loving, and just letting them be who they are. :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-1999
Fri, 08-24-2007 - 10:55am

For starters, this has nothing to do with how many females your son is around or a lack of male presence. Consider the high divorce rate and how many, many boys are being raised by their mothers... the lucky ones get to see dad 2 weekends a month. Honestly, this isn't something you can assign blame to.

I'd be very careful with doctors. Make sure you don't get one of those sorts that believe in reprogramming. I've had a couple gay friends whose parents went this route when they were kids and not only did it not change them but it damaged the relationship with the parent. If it's a doctor that offers support and helps the family cope then perhaps it's not a terrible idea.

I would be very direct with him about school. Certain behavior WILL get him teased and bullied at school. It's not right but it is an unfortunate truth. He has a choice. He can "play" boy at school (wear boy clothes... play with whomever he wants but not make himself a target by saying he's a girl) and avoid trouble or he can be himself and face the consequences. I know, that sounds terrible but it's reality. We all conform at times to make our lives easier. Who knows, it may be WORTH paying the consequences to him.

At the same time, you need to provide your son a safe haven. If your son is interested in theatre, I encourage you find him a high quality youth theatre that is run by theatre professionals. A multi-age program where kids continue participating for years and draws from many different communities. Theatre is really a safe haven for kids who are different whether it be gay, different religion, super smart, skin color, vegetarian, fat, questionable gender issues... you name it. I grew up in youth theatre and so are my kids. If you are a nice kid who can be counted on to do their part in any production, it doesn't really matter what else you are. There may be some nasty kids in the bunch but they don't have POWER there... bullies are actually shunned. Whether you agree with your sons choices or not, every kid needs a place where their peers accept them. At the same time, every child needs some person who openly adores them no matter what everyone else thinks.

I'm afraid I don't have anything else to offer. My son is a sensitive sort and he does spend most of his time with girls (he's got an active older sister and a mom with a Girl Scout troop.) He has never wanted to be a girl and is pretty male in interests and behavior. I imagine this is very painful for all involved.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2004
Mon, 08-27-2007 - 6:39pm
Unfortunately a bully will find many reasons to tease a kid, no matter what the situation is. Just be glad and proud that YOUR child is NOT the bully! I would rather have a sensitive NICE little boy than a mean bully for a child. Your son will eventually learn how he should "be" in school, but I would allow him to enjoy the things he likes at home. That way you always keep a good relationship and home will be a place for him to unwind from school.
My nephew was somewhat like this when he was little. He hated playing with the boys and spent most of his time in the kitchen with my mom. My mom was his best friend. Now at 23 years old he is a normal young man with a GREAT relationship with his mom and sister, AND he has plenty of male friends and girlfriends.
If he happens to end up gay when he gets older he is still your son and you still raised him right and still love him with all your heart.