While I was in the children’s section of Borders this weekend, my eyes rested on a book called My Princess Boy. I picked it up and read it.
It’s about a woman who has a little boy who likes to wear dresses and play princess. He wears a princess dress to his birthday party and dresses to preschool. The book, which is a children’s book, is from his mother’s point of view. She talks about how other people laugh at him and it makes her son sad, but they love him unconditionally. It tells kids that they should be nice to each other even if they’re different.
Today I noticed this video on CNN: A mother’s ‘princess boy’ (I love this family; I want to hug them all.)
This comes on the heals of an ad by J. Crew where their President is painting her young son’s toenails pink. J. Crew Ad With Boy’s Pink Toenails Creates Stir
So, here’s the thing. Little boys like to do what their mommies do. My son loved the color pink for about a year when he was 2 because it was my favorite color. When I painted my toes, he wanted his toes painted. When my daughter was old enough to have her toes painted, he wanted his done too. Why should he be left out? It’s not about “turning” him into a girl, it’s about letting him do something fun. It doesn’t hurt him. He didn’t turn him into anything but himself, which just happens to be a sports loving energetic boy.
My nephew, on the other hand, reminds me of the boy in My Princess Boy. He likes to wear his big sister’s princess dresses. When he comes over to play, he and Sass play with her princess dolls. He will also dress up in boy clothes, but favors the girly stuff. When we were shopping for his birthday, my kids went to the princess and baby doll stuff. In fact, Sass insisted on buying him a baby doll. I bought it for him. It did have blue clothes, though. It raised a few eyebrows at his birthday party, but he loved it. It was the one thing he wanted to sleep with that night.
For me, I worry about what he might have to deal with as he grows up. No one wants their kids to struggle, to face adversity, even though we all know it will happen. When my son comes home and cries because some kids didn’t sit with him at lunch, I hurt as well. But that’s life, and I recognize that not only will he have to deal with these things, he needs to learn how to.
So, if my nephew is gay, or transgendered, or is just going through a phase, I don’t care. I want him to be whoever he is. I love him and his family loves him, and it doesn’t matter. If he’s a princess boy, then I’ll buy him princess toys. But I hope others will tolerate him and who he is. I want for him to live the life he wants without fear of being excessively teased, or harassed, or made to feel like he’s wrong for being who he is.
I think our society is on the right track. The fact that this book exists, that this ad appeared, that celebrities are supporting sites like www.itgetsbetter.org, all point to the fact that people are becoming more tolerant. Just the fact that we’re having these conversations is a good sign. I have hope for our children’s future.