Adults Taunt Three-Year-Old Boy For Dressing Like A Girl At A Child’s Birthday Party

Chester, age 3, showing off his fabulous pink threads.

“No way I’d let my son dress like a girl.” “Why did you make him wear a dress?” “He’s going to hate you when he grows up.”

These are just a few of the comments one mother received after letting her three-year-old son wear a pink princess dress to a child’s birthday party.

“This is my son Chester,” the mother writes in a post published on The Meta Picture. “He was invited to his friend Chloe’s birthday today, the theme was prince and princesses. He asked if he could go as Sleeping Beauty, so I bought him a dress and put a clip in his hair.”

The mother also claims that when her husband arrived at the party, some of the other dads made fun of him for his son’s choice of attire. The father shrugged off the comments, telling them his son was happy.

“The fact is, Chester is gender neutral,” the mother writes. “I let him wear what he wants, be it boys or girls clothes, and he plays with whatever toys he likes.”

She also points out that while many of the adults had opinions on her son’s clothing, not one of the children said anything other than to pay Chester compliments on his “cool costume.”

She concludes by asking: “What does it say when a group of adults could stand to take a lesson in humanity from a class of preschoolers?”

Good question.

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  • Tookietookie123

    Older people still don’t like the prospect of LGBT people, thankfully, their children are more ok with it. As the older generation gets weeded out, and the new generation prospers, hopefully so will homophobia and LGBT support.


    Sounds like the men are trans-phobic and unsure of themselves.

  • TheBigOne

    @Tookietookie123: What exactly qualifies as ‘old” in your book?

    I know people in their 70s, 80s, and even 90s, that are 100% perfectly OK with gay people, lots of them are gays themselves. I’ve heard many stories from “hetero” men about their WWII days when there were no women around but plenty of horny guys.

    People like you that generalize a group of people are no better than the ignorant ones making fun of this poor child.

  • jmi2

    it’s one if the main reasons I prefer working with kids rather than adults – they are much, much smarter…

  • Arkansassy

    Kids love attention and will perpetuate behaviors that provide positive feedback. You know those parents who laugh when their kids swear and the kid keeps swearing because it gets a response? Same with this. Kids need guidance and boundaries. If he ends up being gay or trans later in life, fine, but don’t create a gender identity problem for the kid. Whether he identifies as a boy or a girl at this age doesn’t matter, he will do whatever gets attention. And I guarantee the parents were giving him all sorts of attention for this.

  • GeriHew

    A hundred years or more ago it was common practice to dress little boys in dresses and bloomers.

    But society was a lot more homophobic back then. Well at least the laws were.

  • Thedrdonna

    @Arkansassy: Parents don’t “create” gender identity issues for kids by doing this. If it were possible to force a child into a gender identity by enforcing gender norms, then there would be no trans people. That kind of logic is the same sort as people who would say that a child’s upbringing is what made them gay.

  • Arkansassy

    @Thedrdonna: You’re wrong. They definitely do. A little boy wants to wear a dress and you praise him for being brave and tell him how pretty he is and lavish attention on him for it? Then what happens? Adults and other children ridicule him for it. He wants to please his parents who are so proud of him for wearing a dress and being brave but he knows people are being mean to him. For the kid it was just a childish lark, but now in order to please his parents he needs to keep wearing the dresses in order to get the positive attention he wants. What a horrible situation to put a child in.

  • HirsuteOne


    How many, you and 5 others? Of course, not all older people think that way, but many of them do. To assume the OP meant everyone is a ridiculous lack of common sense and needless display of histrionics. OP is right, acceptance is not as prevalent in the older generations especially when adding the demographic of white, Christian and Republican to the equation.

  • HirsuteOne


    This is joke, right? You don’t actually believe this? This is your interpretation of this story?

  • Arkansassy

    @HirsuteOne: No it’s not. Are you joking that you think it’s good to confuse a child?

  • HirsuteOne


    Well, thank you for clearing that up.

  • Thedrdonna

    @Arkansassy: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Say, have you heard this new theory that allowing a boy to do sissy things like ballet or loving his mother will make him gay? It seems like your kind of deal.

  • madcat

    This reeks of adults looking for attention, and the post is so sanctimonious in how it scolds other faceless adults.

  • LadyL

    @Arkansassy: Exactly where in this story does it say that the child was praised as brave or pretty by the adults around him because he wanted to wear the dress?
    The mother simply says he asked if he could go as Sleeping Beauty so she bought him the dress and put the clip in his hair. The dad kept his cool when he was teased at the party by other adults, telling them the costume–and since his son is only three that may be all the dress represents to him–made his boy happy so they allowed it. The ones who “lavished attention” on him were the other children who liked the look.
    The only ones who seem to have a problem with this free-spirited little kid doing his own thing are those conclusion-leaping trans/homophobic adults. Oh, and you.

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    @Arkansassy: Your wrong clothes don’t decided someones gender identity or their sexual orientation.

  • mezzacanadese

    I think it’s wonderful that Chester’s parents realize that he is gender neutral and let him wear what he wants and play with whatever toys he wants. This is healthy, and it is obvious that they love him. They are allowing him to be himself. The adults who criticized Chester are ignorant and uninformed.

  • stranded

    I work with kids and they’re brutally honest in their questioning. Kids are as judgmental as adults, even at 3. The only difference is they don’t have the stigma attached to the judgment. So i highly doubt the only comments he got were “cool costume.” He probably got “why are you dressed like a girl?” “You’re a boy, you should dress like a boy.” Probably got laughed at or whispered about. But after the initial shock, the kids stop staring or even noticing. As kids get older, they start stigmatizing and outcasting.

  • inbama

    @Arkansassy: While everyone is out-transing each other here, statistically, if this kid isn’t straight, he’s more likely gay. I’m sure there are many, if not all, gay guys on this blog who have memories of some childhood gender-line-crossing which might have resulted in anything from humiliation or your dad taking you out to the ball park.

    In which case I’d ask you, looking back, would you today be better off in your career and in your love life if your parents had either encouraged you to butch it up or helped you to be as effeminate as you could possibly be?

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a personal ad that said “no fats, smokers or butch guys.”

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    @stranded: I highly doubt that he got laughed at whispered about or even asked about his costume they’re 3 they don’t have the same insecurities they’re parents ovbiously do besides it was a “Costume” maybe you should look up the definition. Yes, kids can be mean but not at 3 at that age their more interested in just playing.

  • dbmyers

    @Arkansassy: The ones “creating a gender identity problem for the kid” are the adults in the room and the unthinking adults not in the room, like yourself!

  • dbmyers

    @LadyL: Bravo to you LadyL for reading Arkansassy’s beads like they deserve to be read!

  • Sebizzar

    @TheBigOne: He’s obviously referring to the older generation that remains ignorant, like the “adults” in the story.

    Anyway I will never understand why society created gender norms in the first place. “Pink is for girls / blue is for boys” etc. why? It’s a damn color! Same with dresses, it’s just clothing. Even makeup, why should only women be able to hide their flaws? The only thing that makes sense if being targeted to a specific gender are things like bras for women or jockstraps for men.

  • inbama

    @Sebizzar: The sciences of evolutionary biology and psychology will explain it to you.
    If you try to understand the rule from the perspective of the exception, of course it seems meaningless.

  • Pix

    Blue used to be for girls (something to do with the Virgin Mary) and pink for boys (the healthy blush of rambunctious boys), and I’ve seen pix of boys & girls in the Victorian ages in which there was very little difference between the genders (heck, some of the grown men were fops back then, too). For some reason the gender colors of blue and pink changed around the 50s, don’t know why.

    Also about that same time cheerleaders became a female-dominant sport (that had to do with so many women taking over male jobs and positions while so many were fighting in WW2 and cheerleading was one they never gave back).

    I’ve always been mystified by the 80s metal culture, especially the glam metal bands that must’ve used more cosmetics (even pink lipstick) than a televangelist’s wife and yet it sounds as if the fans were more homophobic than regular society (which was bad enough). It was a trip when I found a tape for a band called Poison in a thrift store in which Bret Michaels was the lead singer and not only did I fail to recognize him, I thought the entire band were drag queens! (OTOH, I heard many rednecks who forcibly cut the hair of men with hair too long were big fans of country music stars that wore their hair even longer. Guess people just aren’t supposed to make sense.

  • LadyL

    @Pix: It’s fascinating, isn’t it? People look for others to identify with, then get overcome by their own insecurities. Cultural norms and taboos play a role, to an extent religious upbringing also, but mostly it seems to come down to personal anxieties, hangups about sexuality and gender.

  • GeriHew

    @inbama: “While everyone is out-transing each other here, statistically, if this kid isn’t straight, he’s more likely gay”

    Really? What statistics are they?

  • balehead

    This smells strange..Could this be Momisn instead of trans issued? And of course is the mother looking for a lawsuit??….

  • allisfutile

    I don’t see why it’s such a big deal for boys to dress as female characters. If a kid was having a superhero party and a little girl wanted to go as Spiderman, no one would throw a fit about her being transgender. The party was prince/princess themed, and Sleeping Beauty is a relevant character. Why shouldn’t a little boy be able to dress up as that character, regardless of whether he identifies as male/female/nothing at all?

  • Arkansassy

    @LadyL: The mother says, “Chester is gender neutral”. Only someone with a political agenda uses the term “gender neutral”. The parents are using this child as a prop to make a political point. This is just as bad as a parent dressing their child in a Klansman costume. In both cases the parents are expressing their points of view through their children. And in both cases it’s unfair to the children.



    Spot on! The boy went to a party to have some fun. It really is that simple. So what on earth could be more innocent than that?

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    @Arkansassy: You known when you first posted I thought you we’re just a plain and simple bigot but now I see your really just a simple stupid bigot. Did you every think that maybe oh just maybe the parents are giving their child time to decide what gender Identity he has by allowing him to dress as both a boy and a girl. Maybe thats why they use the term gender neutral and not some dark political agenda as you put it.

  • gskorich

    this isn’t surprising. what is surprising is how stories like this get published in the first place. are people now going to parties and bars hoping to find some homophobia, transphobia heterophobia so they can quick run home and post it on line so the media will pick it up and run with it.


    I don’t agree with Akanassy’s views in any way whatsoever, but steady on chaps; don’t allow this to descend to the level of personal insults or you will give silliness more credence than it deserves.

  • Arkansassy

    @sweetbrandigirl2004: Should these parents let this kid eat candy all day since he certainly likes sweets more than his veggies? Should they let him decide his own bedtime? Maybe they should give him a gun so he can decide his opinions of gun control. This boy is a child and needs parents who can set boundaries until he is mature enough to make decisions on his own.

    And the parents certainly do have a political agenda. Anyone who has a baby and declares they are raising them in a gender neutral environment is salivating for that moment they slip one toe over the line so they can exploit the child’s natural curiosity. And exploit they did as the mother wasted no time in posting a picture of her kid on the internet.

    It is “stupid” to believe 4 year olds knows what’s best for themselves. It is “stupid” to believe the kid isn’t being influenced by his parents. It is”stupid” to believe that the other kids won’t tease him because of this.

  • Thedrdonna

    @Arkansassy: Oh hey, and if, when he gets older, he starts acting effeminate and looking just a lil too long at the other boys everyone knows you can just beat the gay out of him. Obviously being gay is just a case of parents not setting proper boundaries.

    I’m in danger of going blind, that’s how hard I’m rolling my eyes.

  • HirsuteOne


    Not surprised that “Arkansassy” would have a “Klan” reference. It’s quite clear what the agenda is.

  • Arkansassy

    Unfortunately your smug comments have little relevance in the real world. Your moral superiority will do little to help this kid when he’s being teased and bullied. My hope is that this kid doesn’t become a statistic in 10 to 15 years. But if he does, at least his mom proved a point and showed the internet what’s what when he was 4.

  • Thedrdonna

    @Arkansassy: Oh, you’re right, we need to force this kid into the closet to *protect* him. Genius level thinking, there.

  • Arkansassy

    @Thedrdonna: A 4 year old is not a sexual being therefore he can be neither in or out of the closet. Assuming a 4 year old is capable of making such a decision is wrong.

  • Thedrdonna

    @Arkansassy: Gender identity is usually formed by age three, so yes, trans people can be in the closet by age four. Being trans is related to sexuality, but not in and of itself about sexuality. Nice try, though.

  • Andrew Yang

    @Arkansassy: I understand what you are trying to say, but I think you are transferring your convictions unto this situation. The little boy asked to go dressed as a princess, that is not his parents forcing him. Forcing him would be to demand that he goes as a prince when he clearly wants to go as a princess. If your theory is correct, then we should not have transvestites, which we do. I do not think transvestites were all forced to dress as the opposite sex when going up. I think you are missing the bigger message in the story, which is the deplorable reaction of the adults around him, not that the kid should change to appease them.

  • Andrew Yang

    @allisfutile: You are absolutely correct, sad to say.

  • GeriHew

    @Thedrdonna: Thanks for the link.

    I was gender nonconforming sometimes when I was a child and sometimes I still am. And I’m not gay or straight. However of course many people assume I’m one or the other. But that’s their problem, not mine.

    Here’s a link for you :)

  • Arkansassy

    I’ve said everything I need to say on the topic. Kids are stupid and sometimes you have to say no to them to protect them – simple as that. Dressing your kid up in a princess costume, taking his picture and posting it on the Internet to make a point is not good parenting no matter what this kid turns out to be.

  • inbama

    @Thedrdonna: More likely the reverse.

    If it turns out, as a lot of researchers suspect, that the “hormone bath in the womb” plays as much a part in being gay as it does in being trans or intersex, nonheterosexual orientaion may end up being viewed as one more gender variant.

    I wonder which of us would be more pissed off to find ourselves all back in the same boat.

  • gskorich

    the troubling thing is not these other parents reactions, what did she think would happen?, its the fact that she assumed this would automatically be accepted by everyone. that seems to be the problems with some parents these days, its ok for my son to dress like a girl, its ok for my children to run free in a restaurant, its ok to breast feed when and where i want. all actions have reactions and some of them arenas nice. this kid will have to face that growing up, children are mean, the world is mean but in the end they will find themselves and thats all that matters but for this mother not to expect a retain? i’m sure she did it just to post to post it on line

  • Paulie

    I’ll be the first to admit, I’m certainly not an expert in child psychology, but I still don’t see a problem with the kid’s choice of costume. There is a big problem with the adults’ reaction to it, however.
    It really saddens and sickens me to see how much bigotry (homophobic, transphobic, so on and so forth), remains in this country.
    I was raised by a single mother, and she was a huge believer in “live and let live”, and so am I, meaning that I’ve always been troubled by all forms of bigotry, be it racial, homophobic, transphobic, whatever. Why is it that so many in this “free country” see fit to try to deny the rights of people different from them? Please tell me I’m not the only one who finds this appalling….

  • sean_brown21

    Hopefully, but probably not likely. Even if the older generation is weeded out as you’ve said, you still have to take into consideration everyone’s geographical location. Those in the bible belt region–even those from the younger generation–might not be so inclined to be accepting of LGBTQ people; whereas those who reside in the far eastern and western regions of the country would be inclined to do so. I think politics, and location have a bigger role to play than a generational gap.

  • Pix

    @Paulie: You’re not alone, but in many areas this is a minority position. A great many people can’t tell the difference between what they feel and what should be law, so if they’re uncomfortable with something then it should be illegal as that’s them controlling their environment with like minded people (makes no sense to me but that’s what I glean from what they say), and they also see failure to prohibit something as therefore “promoting” it.

    This gets twisted enough that when Prop 8 was ruled unconstitutional in CA one woman had a protest sign calling it “tyranny” (when we the last time you heard of tyranny treating people as equals rather than making some people second class citizens?). I’d bet money that the same woman who sported that sign would be quick to say we live in a republic and not a democracy where a majority could vote away the rights or money of a minority when it came to voting on the right to bear arms or imposing taxes as people tend to be very hypocritical in their thinking.

    But again, you’re not the only one. And even as a kid I saw the ludicrousness of it. For example, a white family in rural East Texas adopted a baby of Far East Asian ancestry and treated her as an outcast (and thus a friend of mine since I was one of the outcasts in that town, too) but the town didn’t blame their own bigotry–they blamed the parents for adopting such a child when they knew how bigoted the town was (not that they’d admit they were bigoted, they saw themselves as realists). While I can sorta see their point, consider this: they KNEW how they treated that child was wrong and yet they did it anyway but blamed it on someone else saying their bigotry should’ve never been challenged in the first place. Even as a child I saw how stupid the town was (and so did my granny).

    Thankfully, people who rock the boat have brought about all sorts of positive changes, and had people “not offended others for attention” then women would not be able to vote–heck NO ONE would be allowed to vote–and racial minorities would (or even natives under colonial rule) would still be consigned to a poor existence compared to the dominant race, gender, religion (etc) in power. So kudos to this mom for allowing her son to dress that way (not that I’d want her to make him dress that way, but allowing it, yes).

  • Pix


    Just to be clear I meant the town treated the child and the family who adopted her as outcasts, not that the family treated the child badly.

  • DawnTrans

    @Arkansassy: This is only your opinion not fact backed up with citations. In my opinion you are totally delusional. No citation needed.

  • Curtispsf

    My son is raising HIS son and daughter in a gender neutral environment.He doesn’t force gender specific toys on them and allows them to play with whatever toys THEY choose. His son is 6 and his daughter is 5 and they get to choose their own clothes as well, and often swap clothes. Their father has started the discussion with them about what “society” in general expects of their roles as boys and girls, but has made it quite clear that they are free to choose their own path. I’m sure that whatever they choose, their parents will be there to guide and support them. I couldn’t be prouder and the kids are very happy.

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