“My Princess Boy”

Cross-dressing for kiddies may even become fashionable.  What a good thing that would be!

 I was struck, since I had read our own elp’s post about her son, to see an almost identical story about a mother and son in Seattle. The story includes support from the school. And one result is a book about the family’s experiences with a ‘different’ boy:

The so-far self-published book is forthcoming from Simon and Shuster in December.   The web site says:

My Princess Boy is a nonfiction picture book about acceptance. With words and illustrations even the youngest of children can understand, My Princess Boy tells the tale of a 4-year-old boy who happily expresses his authentic** self by wearing dresses and enjoying “traditional girl” things like jewelry, sparkles or anything pink. The book is told from a mother’s point of view, sharing both positive and negative experiences the Princess Boy has with family, friends, classmates and even total strangers.

 The book is listed at Amazon as currently unavailable, but there is more about the author-mother here.  There is also a separate web site for the book, with links to other forums; you can contact the author if  you want.

See also Jender’s related post.

**On the West Coast things are especially authentic.

15 thoughts on ““My Princess Boy”

  1. I don’t know… I’m all in favor of making sure the boy is comfortable just as he is, and if he loves pink and “girlie” jewelry at age 4, that’s cool; it’s great that his family is behind him. And maybe when he gets to 14 he’ll still be a “princess boy,” and if so, maybe having this book about himself will help ease his way through life. But if when he’s 14 his “authentic self-expression” has become more gender-conventional, having kids at school teasing him about once having been a “princess boy” won’t be so wonderful. I’m concerned that by using her child as a political statement, however important that statement may be, this mother may be limiting his options in the future.

  2. hmm. iga, it does seem reasonable to think about how it will bear on the boy himself. but it also seems reasonable to assume that a boy being raised by a parent like this probably isn’t going to grow up to be ‘conventional’. no?

  3. Probably not in the long term, but as the mother of a boy who did once think it would be fun to be a princess and who is now entering the ages when potential teasing from respected peers is something he wants to take into account when making any decisions about self-presentation, I think it’s important to note that the path from unconventional child to unconventional adult doesn’t necessarily run smoothly through an unconventional adolescence.

  4. I can remember when men wore the pants and women wore the dresses. I can remember how in the 60’s women who started wearing pants were accused of wanting to be men or having penis envy. I remember a woman being escorted from the sanctuary of our church and told that if she returned wearing a dress she would be allowed to enter the sanctuary.Women refused to let all the harrasment stop them from dressing how they wanted. They had to go to court and fight for the right to wear pants and dress as men. Today no one thinks a thing about it. I went shopping this last weekend in Chicago at a major funriture retailer. I must have seen somewhere between 1000 to 2000 different women while there. I saw 4 women wearing a dress or skirt. The rest were wearing pants. I you women don’t want to wear the dresses, why so much comotion if the men want to dress different than you and start wearing them?

  5. I think that’s the point Lee – anything that makes it easier for men or boys to dress how they want to is a good thing. The problem is that little boys who want to dress up as princesses get bullied at school, and also get hassle from adults who think it’s wrong. We’re celebrating positive messages about boys dressing up as princesses.

  6. I agree that the book might cause we can’t now clearly foresee, but the hope – which is starting to look vaguely reasonable – is that conventions get challenged enough that later bullying won’t get a grip, or, if it does, it needn’t cost a boy all his friends.

  7. If the parents wouldn’t buy him girly clothes, he wouldn’t be able to wear them. I’m all for kids expressing themselves but this ridiculous. He should dress like a boy.

  8. I have been reading several articles concerning the “princess boy.” I am not against self-expression and having unconditional love for your child (ren). But having “unique eye for everything beautiful” doesn’t mean you have to dress your little son in girls’ clothing. The mother even states: “I was worried about if the other parents were looking at him, and were they looking at me.” Even she knows that this is not normal, but yet she wrote a book about it. When she bought him the outfit for school he didn’t even go to school that day. The article states that his mother couldn’t bear to send him, afraid it would be too much. But yet she is going on talk shows and saying that she supports her child. So if she supports him so well, what is she afraid of?
    Parenting today is not like parenting when I was growing up. When my mom told me no, it was just that. I grew up healthy and happy. There comes a time when we as parents have to draw the line somewhere. After the first time (at school), his mom should’ve put an end to it. No, she (and the teachers) allowed him to do it again. And on top of that, his mother buys him girl clothing and girly stuff. He’s five, he doesn’t have a job, so if the parents wouldn’t buy the clothing, he couldn’t wear them. There is nothing wrong with a boy wearing pink or even jewelry, but don’t put him in a dress.
    Then everyone wants to blame society for their kids getting teased and bullied at school. It’s not society, it’s your parenting. I’m all for educating people about bullying and teasing. If a person has a gun and no bullets, they can’t shoot it, right? So don’t give them the ammo. Meaning, don’t give them a reason to bully or tease your child. If he wants to do it at home, ok, but to take him out in public for him to be ridiculed is not right. I will say this; I think that as he gets older, he is going to need a lot of therapy. Because his parents are saying that it’s okay to dress like that, but society is saying not it’s not. He’s going to be very confused.

  9. alice: Although I understand your point of view, it seems to be born out of a time when “men wore the pants and women wore the dresses.” I think, if you read the book or listened more carefully to the statements made during the interviews, you would realize the the mother is not buying her son dresses to wear to take the place of his “normal boy clothes.” When he plays dress up, he prefers to dress as a princess. He is not wearing dresses and skirts in school or at the grocery store as a substitute for his boy clothes. In fact, the mother goes out of her way to explain that her son loves being a boy. The medical professionals that she consulted, who spent time with her son, clearly concluded that her son is not confused about his gender. He does not want to be a girl. He just prefers to dress up as a princess when playing dress up. Also, your post takes the mother’s statements out of context. She never denied that, at first, she was uncomfortable with the situation. She explained that this has been a developing situation and that her thinking has evolved, especially after consulting with medical professionals. The one constant is that the mom loves her son unconditionally. This comes across very clearly from both the mom and the dad.

  10. If a little boy expresses the desire to wear something pretty, mabe a skirt or dress that he can twirll in and watch it spread out as he spins around and around. Maybe something with lace, ribbons or bows. Possibly something soft and gentle to the touch. Where in the boys department is his mother going to find it?
    Even if his mother sat down at a sewing machine and constructed a garment especially for him, say a dress like garment, one with ribbons, lace and bows, one that was never intended to be worn by anyone other than him, there would be those who would jump up and insist he is wearing girls clothing, and this just should not be allowed out of fear that he might possibly be harmed emotionally by teasing, bullying, etc.
    The real problem is not the little boy that wants to wear the dress like garment, the real problem is the children that do the teasing and bullying. The parents of these children are the ones who should be held accountable for not teaching their children how to behave properly and respect other people regardless of how they dress.
    ALICE, I have no doubt that as a modern woman you probably wear pants more often than you do skirts or dresses. Previous generations of women had to suffer the ridicule, teasing, bullying in order to gain the right to freely wear pants in public anywhere they so please. You can’t deny it to me…I am old enough to have witnessed with my own eyes. You as a modern woman have the right to dress as men, work at any job men work at, hold any political office you so desire. You have the right to be everything that I was ever taught made men…men, and it appears that women are much better at being men than men are. If you deny that then try and remember some of the more popular songs about being a woman and being able to do anything better than a man can do.
    To me, this is not a matter about gender so much as it is matter about equality…true equality. Until little boys and grown men are able to cross the gender barriers just as freely as little girls and grown women cross them equality is just a fantasy.
    ALICE if you truly want little boys and grown men to keep wearing the pants then I ask you to please, take your pants off and put on a dress. If your not willing to do that then you have no right to demand that little boys or grown men refrain from wearing skirts or dresses.

Comments are closed.