when a boy wants to wear a dress to school.

I discovered an amazing article in an unlikely place: Cookie

The article is written by a mother whose son, Sam, asked, “Can I
wear a pink dress to school?”

On one hand, the mother wants her son to express himself and feel
comfortable and beautiful, but on the other hand, she doesn’t want
her son to be ridiculed in school.

I’d wanted to think that this was just a phase for Sam,
but I was beginning to understand that it was not. My son wanted to
wear a dress—for real, not for dress-up. He wanted to show the
other children in his life, in preschool—the place where he
expresses himself publicly—his true self. The
pink-sundress-wearing self. And I was going to have to figure out
what to do.

I am a woman who rarely puts on a skirt or heels, and I was a kid
who preferred overalls to frills. The part of me that thinks
outside of the gender box looks at Sam and thinks he should wear
whatever makes him feel most comfortable and beautiful. And yet …
I am his mother, and my fiercest urge is to protect him. I know
that boys who look and act like girls get tormented, beaten up, and
beaten down. A dress on a boy feels like an invitation to

Ultimately, the mother supports her son in his convictions – but
spends time preparing her son for the questions and ridicule that
he may face. They rehearse various situations and arm Sam with the
language he needs to respond to his fellow classmates.

At that morning’s drop-off, my confidence in Sam moved
up a notch when he announced to his teacher, “Look at my pretty
dress! No one is allowed to make fun of me.”

After school, Sam beamed as he reported that his teachers had said
they liked his dress, and the other 4-year-olds had said he looked
pretty. But the kids in the 5-year-old class had teased him and
told him that he was “girly,” that “boys can’t wear dresses,” and
that he “must not be a boy.”

“What did you say back?” I asked, hiding my trepidation behind an
encouraging smile.

“I said, ‘Don’t make fun of me! I can be a boy and wear a dress,
because it is my choice!'”

To read the article in its entirety (I strongly recommend you do!),