This post will likely be my single most personal in ages. It has been quite a bit to digest leading me through days of self inquiry, personal discovery, and in one unusual moment a joyful flutter from a third party whose opinion I hold in such high regard.
Now that I have taken a look at the age of this video, I can see that I am relatively late to the discussion, but I suppose it matters not. All that matters is perspective. It came to my attention through the modern marvel of the social network that is Facebook and happened to occur on my wall twice in the same day which made me quite curious to pursue some insight into its nature. I am always curious about the discussion occurring around this issue on the basis of my own experience with donning women’s clothing. I am going to try and parse this apart using some of the substance of my earlier arguments as put forth in that particular discussion over Facebook.
Is it normal? It is not NORMAL, but in the age in which we reside at present, neither is class nor civility. Is it okay? Of course. In viewing this interview without opening the lense of heterosexual bent or societal convention, she is attempting to help her son cope with what is obviously a manner of expression that he enjoys.
I enjoyed dressing up in women’s clothing and even allowed my cousins to paint my face on occasion. I revisited this fascination throughout my year of residence in Washington DC. I have grown through that period in my life to go on to hold quite NORMAL and enjoyable heterosexual relationships. The ability of my parents to be loving and accepting of such a behavior helped to keep this from being a jarring and scarred period in my life.
To be a parent and create a paradigm in which your child feels rejected only serves to create the influence that may find them chasing acceptance in a far more detrimental way. To be clear, there is a line of delineation between rejection and discipline.
At some point, we become mature enough in our person to break away from unhealthy societal norms and establish new norms on principles founded in love and acceptance. There are things that people do to children that are clearly unjust and harmful physically and emotionally. This mother creating space for her son’s personal expression is clearly not one of them.
Parenting styles are just that. Styles. I wanted my daughter to move towards architecture. I bought her all sorts of manipulatives and blocks. Things to build with. She still found her way to fashion, dolls, and much more dainty things though to my joy she still loves to climb trees.
Children are equipped to make a multitude of decisions about their own method of expression. Should we not be protecting their right to make the decision rather than preserving the societal structure that would strip that decision from them under threat of force?
Many woman and man hours at a number of segregated schools were fought by hard scrabble children whose parents recognized that the seed of change is born out through the next generation. Battles not simply so that we could sit next to white people but because it was one more means of perpetuating social inequity.
Bullying is one of those means of creating an inequitable society where might makes right and if you don’t face down this threat then it will grow worse with renewing generations. This world does not operate on the fairy tale ethos where the villain fails in their quest to make others feel their own misery. The people who bully children today eventually grow to become policy makers and while some may make atonement and shed their ways, others change the scope of their bully pulpit from one of physical force to values, politics, and society.
To be clear, this is not about the issue of sexuality. It was never raised as a matter of concern for the parents in the video and is not to be debated here for that is a red herring for to keep us from dealing with the present issue. The present issue of paramount importance here is creating a society where children do not have to deal with external pressure to achieve conformity but can express themselves safely in many ways including wearing a dress.
Can you imagine your own manhood or that of your male child not being threatened by that? Is your masculinity so fragile that a 5 year old boy in a dress could knock it over? How do we now define masculinity in ways that ceases to be so detrimental to ourselves and others? It is a question that is extremely important to me both as a man, a mate, and a father. Do we want our sons and daughters to be forced to wrangle in their future with these same staid roles of gender identity where are men hungry apes in search of their next conquest? Or do we want to find a different way for them?
Questioning Your Own Manhood is Royal Black.