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Am I Raising A Cross Dresser?
by Sue Dickinson

I have been a little worried recently. My four year old seems to be favoring his "feminine" side, as they say. Now, I have read all the books and agree intellectually that we shouldn’t try to corral our child into certain male/female modes of behaviour. But, as I’m sure you’ll agree, intellectual knowledge doesn’t always coincide with emotional speculation.

It all started about six months ago when Douglas informed me that he was now his stuffed elephant, Ellie’s mommy. At first, I tried to gloss over it and said things like "oh, you’re Ellie’s daddy?" That wasn’t cutting it, though, this was not a case of confused vocabulary, he was convinced he was the mommy. As I often do when I’m confused over my son’s behaviour, I sought advice from his teachers and my friends. "It will pass", they said, "wait it out".

No problem, I have always liked the solutions that required no additional work from me. Then, he started talking about putting on lipstick. "What now?" I panicked! I didn’t think any of my friends would appreciate a phone call at 7 AM asking for make-up advice for four year old boys, so I had to wing it. I explained only mommies and other ladies wore lipstick. OH NO, I forgot, he WAS Ellie’s mommy. Well, boys and men like daddy didn’t wear lipstick, but they CAN wear chapstick. Out came the lip smacker and he seemed happy to smear that all over his face. Whew, crisis avoided.

A few weeks ago, my cross dressing fears came to a peak when my dear son announced his choice for Halloween costume. I suggested clown, pirate, etc. Douglas decided on witch. "OK", I said, feeling clever. "You can be a boy witch, they are called warlocks". "No", he responded, "I want to be a girl witch". I mumbled something about Halloween being a long way off, plenty of time to choose. Later that week, a group of friends and I were talking about what our kids were going to be for Halloween. The shame of admitting my otherwise normal four year old boy was dead set on being a witch! "It’s ok", my friends assured me, "It will pass. Just wait it out."

Easy for YOU to say, I thought to myself, but continued to follow their advice. I knew we were getting somewhere when my sweet darling told me I couldn’t go with him and my husband one Saturday because they were going to do "guy stuff". No problem, I thought and proceeded to the mall to do some quality "girl stuff".

Then, one evening last week we were eating out at Zios, and between coloring and looking at the viewmaster kids menu, he announced that when he grew up, he was going to be a "boy teacher". Apparently, his class at pre-school weighs in at 14 girls to 7 boys, and all the teachers are girls too! Not enough diversity for Douglas, apparently he will have to grow up and correct the injustice!

I must say, my husband and I breathed a sigh of relief that day, but our fears were put totally to rest this weekend. A friend asked Douglas what he wanted to be for Halloween. Marty and I held our breath, anticipating the standard "witch" response. But Douglas, without a hesitation, declared… "a Monster".

Hooray! I rejoiced… my friends were right! It did pass! What a relief! But, just in case, I am getting on the internet TODAY and ordering that Monster Halloween costume…..before he decides he wants to be a fairy princess!

Sue Dickinson publishes the Unlimited Mom Newsletter, a newsletter dedicated to helping working moms recognize and value all facets of their lives…their families, their work and their personal development Visit http://www.unlimitedmom.com for more information

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