Would you let your Son Wear a Dress?

Katherine - posted on 01/05/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )




When it comes to heartwarming parenthood stories, the ones that touch me the most are always the ones in which parents truly accept their children for who they are. A shining example of this is Dyson -- a self-described "Princess Boy."

Dyson, now 5, wanted to wear tutus and dresses all the time. His mother, Cheryl Kilodavis, was concerned initially and tried to redirect his interest toward trucks and cars like other little boys. But little Dyson knew what he wanted and finally his mother came to accept it after Dyson's big brother Koby said, "Mom, why can't you just let him be happy?"

And with that question, a new acceptance was born. The entire family now accepts little Dyson as a "Princess Boy" and has even written a book, My Princess Boy, about accepting differences that came out in December. Can you imagine if all parents were like them? What a better world we might live in then.

In what is the most touching part of the video, Dyson's father describes his son as "just like any other kid who likes to climb trees, play checks. He just likes to do it in a dress. Big deal."

He's right. It isn't a big deal. But what is a big deal is the reaction to Dyson and to children like him. More and more parents are listening to their sons and allowing them to do more gender-bending activities, whether it's dressing like Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween or taking ballet classes with their sister. It isn't going to kill anyone or hurt anyone if a little boy likes to wear a pink dress or glittery wings. They are pretty! Why would he not want to try them out?

This idea that it would somehow change his sexuality is concerning, but even more concerning is the notion that it would matter if it did. I happen to have the most truck-obsessed, brute of a 2-year-old son, but if he ever showed any interest in his sister's dress-up clothes, I would be happy to let him explore. He may be a boy stereotype right now, but I'd like to believe that my son can actually be anything he wants. It makes me sad that he might ever be constrained by society's ideas of what a "boy" does and what a "girl" does.

It actually hurts all of us. How would my daughter feel if I dismissed my son's interest in frilly things or told him that fairy wings were only for girls? There is an implication of inferiority implicit in that dismissal. It's the same notion that says my daughter can't love Star Wars. Why? Why should we stifle children from becoming who they are because we are stuck in our ways, rigid and holding on to antiquated ideas about gender?

We should all take a page from Dyson's family. It seems the world would be filled with a lot less misery.

Would you let your son wear a dress?



[deleted account]

My son wore a Snow White dress through the grocery store once. I do have standards of dress if we are going somewhere important, and for school, but I pick my battles.

He was playing in the dress, and I had to get the groceries done. He refused to change, but he was happy to come along once I told him he could wear the dress. For me, it just wasn't worth suffering through my shopping while sat in the cart screaming the whole time just to have him in "boy clothes". Basically, I was going to make a spectacle of myself either way--screaming boy in "boy clothes", or Happy boy in a dress. Happy boy in a dress seemed better than screaming boy in "boy clothes". I actually got a lot of approving looks and ran into another mom who's girl was wearing a pirate costume (It was May, mind you).

I'm not sure about non-dress up clothes. Not so much because I see anything wrong with it, but he would be ridiculed at school, and even if that made him stop and conform, kids would likely remember it and still ridicule him years later. That is sad, but it is true.....I remember a kid who no one was friends with in high-school because apparently he wore Star Trek PJ's to school for a week in 2nd grade and was forever dubbed "a freakish dork"

I didn't have classes with him, but I always hoped that if I did, I'd have had the courage to be his friend. And it would take courage

Jenny - posted on 01/05/2011




My son wears dresses all the time but he's 2. He loves accessories and to play Princess. I let him be who he wants to be.

Becky - posted on 01/05/2011




At home, sure. Although at this point, we don't have any small dresses or princess dress up clothes in our house, since we only have boys. Would I buy them if they asked for them? Likely not, because my husband would not be pleased. Either way, I wouldn't let them wear dresses out in public. Other people, especially kids, can be very cruel.
And on another note, I love my Dyson, but I wouldn't name my child after my vacuum cleaner. :)

Jodi - posted on 01/05/2011




I would have some rules (if I had a son that is) and they are the same rules that already apply to my daughter. Rule number 1) nothing too revealing...honestly, I don't even like halter top type dresses for toddlers or teens! lol But that's a personal thing. 2) dresses aren't for everyday (dress up clothes aside), my daughter wears jeans and tops because they're durable and easy to clean, but she can wear dresses on "special" occasions. (holidays, birthdays, family get togethers, that sort of thing.) So, yes, I would let my son wear dresses if he wanted to, but he'd have to follow the same rules as his sisters!

Lindsay - posted on 01/05/2011




Around the house, my kids can play dress up or wear whatever they want. Would I take my son out in public in a dress? Only on Halloween. My son can be whatever he wants to be. My daughter can be whatever she wants to be. When we go places, we are dressed appropriately for the occassion. But no, my son won't be going in a dress.

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[deleted account]

I don't have any girly dress up stuff because my son has never expressed an interest in dress up things period. And I myself do not own girly dress up stuff either except for a few tops. I honestly don't even own a dress or skirt. My one pair of high heels are the ones I wore in my wedding and I've caught Jacob wearing those before. Honestly, he walked better in them than I did lol! Ok, I take it back, I do own a dress...my wedding dress....which is flat as a pancake in a space bag at the back of my closet. Anyhow, if Jacob ever asked while we were shopping, asked for something frilly or pretty, I'd be ok with it. His Daddy, not so much. I mean, I don't think Steve would care if it were just Jacob wanting to wear "girly" things in the house to play dress up. But if we were going somewhere, Steve would probably insist that Jacob take off the "girl" stuff. I wouldn't care. I already get comments from people in this small, tiny ass town because my son's hair is long. But to answer the question? Yeah, if it were just me, I wouldn't give a rat's backside what people think. If my son wanted to wear a dress in public, I'd be ok with that. I don't know about letting him wear one to school though, and my first reaction is to say no, I wouldn't but only because kids are mean and I wouldn't want him made fun of. But then, what kind of lesson is that? "Be who you want to be in the privacy of our home, but when you go to school, you must conform." That's pretty messed up, so maybe I would let him, if he insisted. No harm in being different :)

Becky - posted on 01/06/2011




Cole always wants to put my make-up on. I've put blush and lipstick on him, but I draw the line at eye make-up because I'm afraid to damage his little eyes.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/06/2011




Jenn, my son has an optimus prime costume that he loves to wear also! He likes to go out and about in it..no shame! LOL...mask and ALL!

Dresses, I would not have a problem...I don't think. He has a lttle sister that wore a sweet dress for their christmas pics, he even help pic it out. He said "I wish I had a pretty dress" I never even thought about getting him one. I will test him the next time we are in wal-mart or toys r us. They have the little girl dress up clothes, I will see if he is interested...just lead him to the area and see if he wonders back to the "boy" stuff on his own. He always likes to go up and down all the isles anyway.

Shauna - posted on 01/06/2011




At home is one thing, I would have to say no i wouldnt allow it in public b/c i wouldnt want him made fun of. His father would have an absolute cow. My husband is very manly man, and really cant stand gays. I would not care one bit if my son turned up gay, but dressing like female. I dont know i would have to draw the line. IF he was born a hermaphrodite then i prob would let him wear a dress!

Katherine - posted on 01/06/2011




I was dating this guy and his son got into my make-up. I mean BIG time. He used EVERYTHING up. He had it all over his face. Powder, mascara, cover-up....you name it.

LaCi - posted on 01/06/2011




I wouldn't care. As it is I like putting him in costumes at random. If he ends up in dresses, so be it. He's already tried to put on my makeup. Who cares?

Jenn - posted on 01/06/2011




My son has a princess dress that he likes to wear around the house sometimes. He's never asked to wear one outside the house but I don't think I'd have an issue with it - he's a kid! One day he was dressing up in his Optimus Prime costume and wanted to wear it to Walmart so I said OK (this was in the summer - not on Halloween), but I could tell when we were at the store he felt silly because he was hiding his face.

Bexterwhite - posted on 01/06/2011




All my boy's loved dressing up, they wore my shoes my nighties they put lipstick on, if there is a fancy dress Barney [12] always dresses up as a girl. Harry and Tom, [now 18 and 15] are lovely young men with girlfriends and are comfortable in their bodies [they no longer dress up in nighties] and gently take the piss out of Ba and freddie [4] this is easily put a stop to with a quick pull out of the photo album.
I don't think my boys will be dressing up secretly in their girlfriends frocks, and i think its because there is no mystery to it.

[deleted account]

For me, it would depend on his age. If he was 2 or 3, no worries at all, it would be a laugh to go shopping with him in a dress, but now that he's 8, I would try to discourage him because I think he'd be laughed at. Actually, when he was a baby I put him in pink suits from his big sister, and I didn't care at all if people thought he was a girl.

I have a good friend who has a 5 year old girl who is adamant she's a boy. Her mum is lovely about it - she says "I just want her to be happy with who she is" and doesn't fight it. She gently encourages her daughter to spend time with girls but generally is supportive of her desires eg to play rugby. For the record, at 4 years old, this little girl was one of the best rugby players in the under 6s. She'll be an olympian one day.

Nicole - posted on 01/05/2011




My son has always made friends with girls, his best friends have been girls since he was a toddler. He likes playing with girls. Our dress up trunk is full of clothing for boys/girls because it is a mix of all of their dress up clothing. It has spiderman, transformer, chef and so many other costume pieces. We build on it every year and give away what has been outgrown.

The kids love dressing up together and I am happy to let them do that.

I have let him go out in the "boy" costumes and I let him wear whatever he wants to his birthday party, and anyone who doesn't like it can kiss my posterior!

for every day, he wears pants and t shirts. No need to be a princess everyday...at least not until he's 18...if he so chooses

Beverly - posted on 01/05/2011




Of course. It is such a myth that that will make him gay. I think finally, intelligent people are finding that out. Does wearing pants make girls to turn into boys? I mean really. It's called unconditional love!! We need more of that today!

Isobel - posted on 01/05/2011




I hate to say it...but while I'd let him dress anyway he wanted at home, I would not allow him to be subject to the ridicule that would follow him wearing a dress in public. period.

Sharon - posted on 01/05/2011




No. If my son asked me if he could wear a dress, I'd say no.

He's a boy. Not a girl. If he kept asking, insisted. Then I'd look things over and possibly relent.

If he wants pretty frilly things, fine. But he is not going to wear a dress.

Sarah - posted on 01/05/2011




Umm...I have to be honest here & say that I don't think I'd let my son wear a "princess dress" out in public. My son is only 15 months old, so he obviously doesn't understand the difference between boy & girl stereotypes yet. I didn't care one bit that he was running around a friend's house the other day with a princess wand in his hand. As long as he didn't stab his eye out with it, I didn't have a problem. :) But, a dress in public? I'll have to say no on that one.

Joanna - posted on 01/05/2011




I would. My husband... That might be another story. But he doesn't even like girly things for our daughters.

Bonnie - posted on 01/05/2011




If my boys wanted to try one on for the fun of it at home, I don't see why not, but not outside of the house. They have not said anything yet.

Katherine - posted on 01/05/2011




I have to be honest here and say I REALLY don't know. I mean I guess I would...I wouldn't want to say no. It would kind of creep me out though.

Mrs. - posted on 01/05/2011




I'm going to tell you why you want to let your son wear a dress if he so desires, in public. It's simple, if you demonize it, if you so no, he is more likely to want to do it for a lot longer perhaps into adulthood. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it could just be a phase.

For instance, my brother went through about half a year when he was 5ish where he wore my tube dresses. Now my brother was a pretty little boy and mostly, people thought he was a girl. We even have pictures of him in his tube dress on a camping trip. My parents didn't make it a thing because they knew it would fuck him up. After 6 months, one day he just decided he didn't want to anymore and decided he wanted to be a Transformer or something. Now my brother is gay but he is way more butch and so untwink it isn't funny.

Nicole - posted on 01/05/2011




my son has a dress up box full of boy and girl costumes and during dress up time, he can wear whatever he feels like wearing...wearin a chefs hat won't make him a chef, wearing a dress won't make him a girl

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