Costumed kid bullied by moms

Halloween is over, the costumes put away until another year, or to eventually be given away. The decorations are being taken down. And the rotting pumpkins on the stoop are (hopefully) making their way into the garbage can. For the most part, October’s holiday is behind us as we focus on the holiday season ahead.

But for one mom, Halloween is still haunting her. And it has everything to do with her son, and his choice of Halloween costume.

Before I tell her story, here is what “Cop’s Wife” (CW) of NerdyAppleBottom.com has to say:

My Son is Gay (Or he’s not. I don’t care. He is still my son.)

1. My son is 5 and goes to a church preschool.
2. He has loved Scooby Doo since developing the ability and attention span to sit still long enough to watch it.
3. Halloween is a holiday and its main focus is wearing a costume.
4. My son’s school had the kids dress up, do a little parade, and then change out of costumes for the rest of the party.
5. Boo’s best friend is a little girl
6. Boo has an older sister
7. Boo spends most of his time with me.
8. I am a woman.
9. I am Boo’s mother, not you.

Boo had decided in the weeks leading up to Halloween that he really wanted to be Daphne for Halloween. After much consideration (to ensure he didn’t change his mind, but not because he wanted to be a girl), his mom ordered the costume. Boo was thrilled. But as Halloween approached, her 5 year old son suddenly felt the pangs of stage fright, afraid to wear a costume that others might laugh at. But CW talked him into going ahead, since she knew that was what he really wanted to be. After all, “who would make fun of a child in a costume on Halloween?”

Halloween came, and he walked in proudly. Those who knew his costume in advance made sure to high-five him on his courage and awesome costume. But it was the reaction of 3 moms that floored CW.

“Two mothers went wide-eyed and made faces as if they smelled decomp. And I realize that my son is seeing the same thing I am. So I say, “Doesn’t he look great?” And Mom A says in disgust, “Did he ask to be that?!” I say that he sure did as Halloween is the time of year that you can be whatever it is that you want to be. They continue with their nosy, probing questions as to how that was an option and didn’t I try to talk him out of it. Mom B mostly just stood there in shock and dismay.
And then Mom C approaches. She had been in the main room, saw us walk in, and followed us down the hall to let me know her thoughts. And they were that I should never have ‘allowed’ this and thank God it wasn’t next year when he was in Kindergarten since I would have had to put my foot down and ‘forbidden’ it. To which I calmly replied that I would do no such thing and couldn’t imagine what she was talking about. She continued on and on about how mean children could be and how he would be ridiculed.
My response to that: The only people that seem to have a problem with it is their mothers.”

Read more in CW’s blog, “My Son is Gay”.

Nowadays, you hear a lot about people raising their children without gender roles. Recently I even wrote about Shiloh Jolie-Pitt who prefers to dress and act like a boy rather than the girl that she is. Parents are giving their daughters trucks and action figures, and giving their boys dolls and the like. Dressing a girl like a boy is not a terribly shocking thing to do. But people bristle when it comes to dressing a boy like a girl, even if that is the very way they want to dress. Boo is a little boy who was playing make-believe on Halloween, just as many children do at Halloween time, becoming someone he was not. Some kids chose to be horrifying zombies. Some wore horrific gashes, or the masks of murderers. Some were even scary politicians. Boo, he just went as a girl.

And this was intolerable.

In facing judgment from others, should we be steering our kids away from things that might, so-called, embarass them?  Were these moms right, that Boo’s mother should have guided her child to a costume better suited for a boy to avoid any uncomfortable feelings on either side?  Or should boys be allowed to dress like girls (or whatever they choose to dress as) for Halloween, or any other time they choose?

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24 thoughts on “Costumed kid bullied by moms”

  1. I love it! The colors are great, and I’d certainly want to wear it just for that. Shame on the moms for passing judgement. I know some schools forbid cross dressing at Halloween, but it’s the high school kids (not kindergarteners) who abuse that with balloons or socks, etc.

    I don’t know much about the character, but I hope she’s a good role model for little kids; I’d bet that’s what Boo sees in her.

  2. Hooray for a mom that can keep her head and shame on the mean moms who made a big stink. so many things are only as big a deal as we make them and these moms create drama needlessly. I would not be surprised if they also were the neighborhood gossips and luncheon winos.

  3. Your son is a sweet little one. I myself don’t celebrate halloween because it’s not scripturally based. Also, in the bible it specifically says —(New International Version)
    A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this. Deuteronomy 22:5. If one is attending a church preschool they might be familier with the scripture at Deuteronomy 22:5, or you might want to check it out. Your son is 5 years old. He needs to be protected out in the world by you. He is not old enough to protect himself. Allowing him to make decisions at a young age that could encourage bullying is something you as a parent should manage. If you had to have “much thought about it”, you might want to just say no and take care of your kid. It’s not his responsibility at 5 years old to be some sort of freedom fighter for the transgender community. (Under most circumstances a man wearing a woman’s wig and clothing would not only appear effeminate but also open the way to propositions for unnatural sex use by other men.) If you don’t agree with this send him to a different preschool. I hope you figure this one out. Your priority as a mother is to parent him, not make some sort of statement. You are supposed to teach him to become a strong adult, not an abuse victim. The idea that “It doesn’t matter what others think” can go only so far. It matters in professional environments, in public environments and in health etc.

  4. The “scriptures” also says she should beat her kid with a rod. -Do not withhold discipline from a child: if you beat him with a rod he will not die. If you beat him with a rod you will save his life from Sheol- Proverbs 23:13-14- (there are a lot more terrible texts in holy scripture I can quote if you need more examples) Kasandra, Do you suggest beating him with a rod rather than letting him dress up as a cartoon character for Halloween? Or do you pick and choose your scripture to match your personal beliefs or taste. I suspect the latter.

  5. Deuteuronomy also states that a parent may take their stubborn and rebellious sons to the town elders to be stoned, and the death penalty is ordered for males who disobey their parents, become drunk, or recklessly spend money.

    Hmmm….

    Luckily, Christians also know that everything changed with Jesus. Old Testament is our history, New Testament is our present and future.

    And little boys can dress like girls if they want to.

  6. Hey Kassandra, why would you say she should send him to another preschool?? The school did not seem to have a problem with it at all; if they had it would be their job to tell Boo’s mom not yours. And how you can say letting him dress as a cartoon character is shaping him to be an abuse victim?! I can’t get my head around that way of thinking. I think she is teaching him to be a strong adult by encouraging his creativity and respecting his decisions. He will gain confidence and believe in himself with this respect. As you said, he is only 5…he wanted to dress up…he does not see all the “adult propaganda” that is attached. Let him dress up…maybe I’ll be Shaggy next year and we can trick-or-treat together…or Kassandra will you say that because I am a woman, I will targeted for abuse and slander? Everyone else, I agree totally about the scriptures you quoted.

  7. Hey Kassandra – did Jesus not wear a ‘dress?’ Time for you to get your head straight! This is a little boy we’re talking about. Shame on the mothers who made comments. Most likely, they are raising, hateful, racist, prejudice children. Remember, children learn by example.

  8. a friend’s son was five or six when the kids at school were asked to dress up like a parent to come to school. For whatever reason, the little boy chose to dress up like his mother. She was a lawyer, and a very petite one, so I think he wore a red silk short-sleeved top of hers, with pearls, not sure where the skirt came from or whether there was a jacket, and carried a briefcase. I loved the detail of the pearls. They took pictures. His parents fretted a little bit about it but never told him that, basically just ran with it, in large part because they didn’t want to make a big deal of it as then he would be thinking about all these issues that he was just too young to be thinking about. Let him have fun. He just wanted to dress up as Mommy that day, it wasn’t a big statement or long-term declaration of preference, and if it had been, well, best to start getting used to it, anyway. Maybe Mommy just had more interesting clothes than Daddy, they were both lawyers. Dressing up like Daddy would have been boring, he wore pretty casual clothes to work as I recall. Mommy had to dress up to go to work.

  9. It’s hard at that age, but I think it’s important for the parent to try to communicate to the child how others will react. Sure, encourage the child to express him/herself, but also try to explain that some people could make fun of him for the way he chooses to present himself. Also talk about how you can’t please everyone, and not everyone’s opinion matters. The child may not completely understand, but it’s good to discuss anyway. The courage of parents and children as illustrated in this story is what will move us forward to more open-minded acceptance of personal expression, but that’s not the world we live in now and part of growing up is understanding the norms of the dominant culture. I can’t blame the other moms for being representatives of the dominant American culture, but I will applaud the family that is not afraid to encourage individuality.

  10. Just wanted to toss in that I hope everyone is composting their pumpkins in the yard waste bin, not trashing them in the trash bin! 🙂

    Also, for goodness sake! He’s 5. Way too young to be worrying about this stuff. Halloween is supposed to be fun, though I am against it for my own reasons. I won’t get into that, because Halloween will never go anywhere. Shame on those mother’s for not at least hiding their reactions from the boy. And honestly, none of their business to even speak to the mother about it. Geez.

  11. My neice dressed up as Iron Man, long hair and all, flowing out from under her metallic face mask. No one ostracized her. The world is suffering from a glaringly homophobic double standard. I salute CW and her courageous son. Show your outrage over this unfair set of circumstances whenever you can, and one day it will be the haters and malcontents forced to the lunatic fringe of society. And good riddance it will be, too. PEACE.

  12. Kasandra, you are a complete moron…you can thank god for that.

    “encourage bullying”?? are you serious?? oh wait…now I understand…it’s sort of like how you just encouraged it by spewing your ignorance.

  13. Ms Kasandra, allow me to introdude Mr Osama Bin Laden. Your views on the proper role of religion in society are identical, so I’m sure you’ll have loads to talk about together.

  14. I have to say i was very upset by those mothers comments about your son , It is Halloween and they should be allowed to wear what they want , those women are teaching their children the wrong thing, My son is 23 years old and he dressed up as a preganent Nun. Its Halloween let them have the time of their life its about children anyway.

    Tell your son I said be what u want to be on Halloween and ignore what the moms say

  15. I cannot believe that moms were the bullies. They should know better. And people wonder why we have a society where men look down on women and even abuse them….it is because of this selfish thought process that makes parents decide what is gender appropriate instead of letting children choose for themselves. If my daughters want to play with trucks, I let them. If my son wants to play with dolls and cook in the kitchen with his sisters, I let him. Children learn what they live. If you teach them that it is not okay to be sensitive to women or to enjoy “home making” then how are we going to raise the next generation to respect the family and be a good husband/father?? And any way…arent you supposed to dress totally far out there for Halloween?

  16. Kassandra…..I hope that when you say your prayers tonight that you pray that God will reset your brain. This child was not making a statement and the parents did the right thing. Yes he was five years old but when do you think that children start learning to deal with the world? Oh yeah, it starts on the day they are born. People are free to express themselves as long as they are not hurting others. You are a great example of what happens when some one pounds too much negative into your brain. Go preach some where else because how you interpret the bible is not how all Christians do. I will pray for your and your double standards, ignorance and the forked tongue that you speak with.

  17. Looks like I should totally approve of the boy dressing as a girl because if I don’t I will offend. It’s nice to see how united you all are in your beliefs. I don’t agree, I grew up with two gay parents and it was in a predominantly gay community, I just didn’t fit in. Looks like you all believe that I am ignorant. I’m sure those of you who criticised me for pointing out my opinion have lives are all perfect. Congratulations.

  18. Kasandra, as an intersexed woman, apparently because your god made me that way, I am deeply offended by your remarks. You made a comment about how the woman’s son should not be a freedom fighter for the transgender community. What if he is part of the next generation of transgenders? How is he supposed to express the way God made him and intended him to be in your eyes?

  19. I’m not Christian nor reglious in any sense of the word so all this talk about the Bible has no effect on me. I’m oblivious to it. What I’m not oblivious to is hypocrisy.

    If you missed it, here’s a thought: You’ve proven yourselves no better than the bullying Moms described in this article by calling Kassandra, who expressed her views in a polite manner, ignorant, a moron, and like bin Laden. Really? bin Laden??

    Liberals think they have cornered the market on tolerance, but their true colors come out when they are confronted by someone who doesn’t buy into to their values. They are just as intolerant of opposing views as anyone else.

    Kassandra, don’t let their insults keep you from telling your side. Some of us can debate and agree to disagree without resorting to name-calling.

  20. This is posted right along side the SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS section:

    “Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and NOT ABUSIVE [emphasis added]…”

  21. If Kasandra thought that she was going to come on here and attack a five year old child because of her “opinion” then she was wrong. She deserved the response she got by attacking an innocent child who does not have the ability to defend himself. And if you think it is abusive to call her ignorant then maybe you should look up the rules of engagement. Believing her to be ignorant is not any different than saring an opinion. If Kassandra could not appreciate and consider the heat she was going to take then she should not have posted her spam, and certainly not to harm the innocence of a child.

  22. Hello, Whatever. I re-read Kasandra’s posts I can’t find where she attacked a five year old child. Perhaps you can point this out to me. And I understand the rules of engagement perfectly well which is why I don’t allow red herrings and ad hominem attacks to distract me from the real issues.

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