Photo Credit: Lindsay Morris for the New York Times
Back-to-school checklist: Buy your kid a new lunchbox, sign up to be a room volunteer, send parents an email letting them know your son will be wearing a dress to class.
Okay, so maybe you didn't have to tackle that last task, but, The New York Times reports, that's what one family did when Alex, their 4-year-old boy, begged to wear a dress to preschool and his psychologist and pediatrician advised his parents they should let their gender-nonconforming child wear what he wants.
It's an issue that some parents today are facing, since this is the "first generation to allow boys to openly play and dress (to varying degrees) in ways previously restricted to girls -- to exist in what one psychologist called 'that middle space' between traditional boyhood and traditional girlhood," according to the newspaper.
"It's hard to put a finger on why gender identity makes such a difference to our sense of who a person is, but it does," Alex's mom tells The Times. "As a parent, it's really destabilizing when that's pulled out from under you. And I worried that if I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around my kid, and I love him more than life itself, then how would the rest of the world react to him?"
Well, the rest of the world can be kind or -- as you might guess -- not so kind. The nearly 700 comments racked up in response to the Times story include those who feel inspired by the parents' involvement: "I think non-conformity in clothing and play style is something our society can safely move toward without bringing on the apocalypse."
And those who disagree with them completely: "… teach him that he's putting himself in danger of abuse by wearing cross-gender clothing. Teach him martial arts now and help him get a concealed carry permit when he's turning 21. He'll need it. That's today's reality."
And those who have their own solutions: "This is a great argument for school uniforms."
Now, we happen to think pink looks great on everyone -- boys, girls, David Beckham (but really, what doesn't?), even Donald Trump. We don't have a problem with a little girl wearing a Star Wars T-shirt and black Nikes to school, so why should we care if a little boy wants to wear a Dora dress?
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