October 25, 2018 Rylee Hanson

A Letter To Parents: Why Gender Shouldn’t Be a Deciding Factor in Your Child’s Costume

When you walk into a store the first thing you see are signs that read:

⇽BOYS        GIRLS⇾

This practice of the binary has been around since the beginning of time, and continues to be utilized practically everywhere in the world. The biggest societal misconception is that your sex (chromosomes) that you are born with is directly related to the gender you should define as. However, It is proven that these two are completely independant! Gender, by definition, is how you feel socially and culturally connected within society. Expression through gender identity means something different for everyone, and it’s a huge part of our everyday lives. Feeling ostracized and limited by society for who you are is not okay, and as citizens of the same society, we must always remember to stay tolerant.


As a parent, it is only instinct to follow those who came before you, but old tradition does not allow growth. Regardless of your own opinion on gender identity, or political stance, or parenting style, the first priority should always be your child’s comfort and happiness.


If you find yourself in a situation where your child, brother, sister, friend, are outside of the norm when it comes to gender identity- support them. Believe me, gender dysphoria is not a fun time for anybody, and having someone tell you that the way you feel is wrong, only makes it worse.

If you were born male or female and feel more connected with masculinity and femininity, respectively, you are valid.

If you were born male but feel more connected with femininity, you are valid.

If you were born female but feel more connected with masculinity, you are valid.

If you were born intersex and feel more connected with femininity or masculinity, you are valid.

If you were born male, female, or intersex but feel confused about where you are on the spectrum, you are valid.

If you personally are unaffected by your gender identity it might be hard to understand the way someone else is feeling. This is okay, you don’t have to understand why or how someone could feel disconnected with their assigned gender, all you need to understand is that we exist.


Especially as a young kid, everyone is figuring out who they are and what they like. This involves sports, toys, clothing and favorite hobbies. Many times, the gender roles we have put in place keeps kids from doing what they really want to do.

Everyone has heard it:

“Girls can’t play football.”

“Boys can’t play with dolls”

“Pink is a girl color!”

“Girls should not be messy.”

Its stupid! Kids should get to experiment in all areas of life so they can really find out who they are!

Halloween is coming up and there are always discussions about whether or not parents should let their kids dress as characters of the opposite sex. The easy answer is “Duh?? Why not!!”

When you are young the last thing on your mind is sexuality and complex variations of gender identity, you’re just a kid!! One princess dress, or one superman costume, is not going to change who your child is, and if you think it will… then that’s an even bigger issue.

The truth is, everyone grows up to be who they want to be, there is nothing a parent can do to change that. So, you can either love your kid for who they are and always have their back and be their #1 support system, OR, you can spend a lifetime invalidating them and becoming the people you always said you’d protect them from.

It seems like a pretty easy decision to me.






Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: