There's Nothing Wrong With a Boy Princess on Halloween

princess cookieReady for a Halloween parenting dilemma that may well make you ache inside? Deep breath. Here goes:

If your 4-year-old son wants to be a princess for Halloween -- going door-to-door and marching in the local parade dressed in full-skirted, tiara-wearing, iridescent splendor -- do you let him?

That's the question facing Los Angeles-area moms Anna and Louisa Villeneuve, whose son, Luc, has made that very request. The Villeneuves, a lesbian couple who wholeheartedly support their son's gender-stereotype-flouting inclinations (he loves dressing as a princess in the costume corner at preschool), are struggling to figure out what to do.

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While their first inclination is, as probably many of ours would be, to let their little boy dress however his heart desires, they've come to realize that the judgment call is a little trickier than it first seems.

What if little Luc becomes a target for bullies? What if adults look at him with disapproval? What if, years from now, he is furious at them for allowing him to go out dressed that way? What if people judge them -- and gay parenting in general?

As a parent, my heart goes out to these moms. They want to protect their son's independent spirit and imagination as well as his safety and well being, and are unsure how to do both at the same time. Ultimately, according to the Los Angeles Times, they've encouraged Luc to move in a different direction costume-wise. And while I'm sure they find Luc's willingness to be redirected a relief, I find it sad.

Must we force our children to conform to gender norms and at such a young age? And isn't Halloween the very time we should be able to let our children's imaginations and fantasies roam free, without restriction or fear of reprisal? Why does Luc have to be Batman or a cowboy or whatever the outside world deems appropriate for him, when all he wants is some sparkles and a scepter, and the power to be whoever he wants to be?

Sure, that his family fears he can't safely do so is perfectly understandable. But it's also scarier than any ghost, witch, or goblin. Don't you think?

Would you let your son dress as a princess for Halloween if he wanted to?

 

Image via sweetopia/Flickr

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