My kiddo is biologically male, but when kids ask him if he’s a boy or girl, he says, “I’m me. I’m a person.” Kids, however, don’t accept this answer and pester him to the point of tears. I don’t know how to tell him the difference between boys and girls, or if I want to tell him that there is a difference at all (besides anatomically).
How do you explain gender to a four-year-old?
We received a question from a reader asking us to find inexpensive gender-neutral fashion:
“I recently have come out as genderfluid, and it’s so helpful to see others going through it as well! Any chance of a fashion roundup of affordable gender non-conforming clothes?”
This has proven to be more difficult than anticipated…
Defying gender binaries with Alok Vaid-Menon — a gender non-conforming writer, performer, & fashion icon
Alok feels that the concepts of masculinity and femininity shouldn’t have relevance in this day and age. “We need to be much more colorful, expansive, and precise about what we mean rather than defaulting into ideological catchalls that do more harm than good,” he tells me.
Being that Alok is a person of color, I wonder if they feel that ethnicity/race ties into the equation in a meaningful way. Their reply is so profound that I’m still sort of reeling from it…
I have a four-year-old son, and his father is very “that’s for boys and this is for girls,” and “you can’t wear/do/play with that because you’re a BOY.”
My hope is that this beautiful community of families can help me by suggesting books, movies, or other resources that might help us get the point across to our son. I have looked high and low and I’ve nabbed the materials that I feel express my feelings, but I want as many tools as I can to help my son understand that he can wear, do, or play with anything he wants.
Given my strange gender identity, this means that my outside rarely feels like it’s reflecting myself. It can be frustrating. And depressing. This means I had to develop a few coping mechanisms just to be able to get out the door every day.
So here are my tips for getting dressed when your gender is ambiguous…
I should probably start by identifying my gender, but that is… complicated. I am a female, physically. What I identify as is where it gets blurry.
As a teenager, in the early nineties, I had no internet to help me figure it out. And, as a broke young adult in the new millenia, I still didn’t have the amazing resources and web connection of, “Hey, my specific gender identity has a name and I’m not alone!”
Gender-bending fashion lines: How to look smashing in men’s clothing when you’re shaped like a woman
This is not a post on gender-identification, and much less about sexual orientation. It is not a post on being trans or trying to pass. This a simple post on how to look good when gender-bending fashion from someone who has been doing it for years.
Despite knowing the importance of diversity in our kids’ lives, we live in a mostly white, hetero-normative neighbourhood. So we have to use books to introduce them to a wide variety of people of all shapes, sizes, colours, and lifestyles. Are there any kids’ books with a diverse set of characters that do fun things while just happening to be gender-neutral or gender-bending?