Tuesday, June 16, 2009

He Likes To Wear The PowerPuff Girl PJs

My son adores playing with all manner of cars, trains, and planes. He makes up sound effects for all of them. When the girls in the preschool class get busy painting, drawing, creating books, he's with the guys playing with the toy vehicles instead.

But he likes to wear his sister's PowerPuff Girls PJs.

The other day, coming out of the bath, he asked me why daddy shaves (his face, that is) but I don't. After I put his hand on my smooth cheeks to show I didn't need to, he asked if he would get to shave when he's older. I said yes. He did a little enthusiastic jump and said, "I'm so excited!"

But he likes to wear his sister's zebra and froggie and sometimes even Dora underwear.

He has an endless fascination for all things mechanical. He can concentrate intently on putting plastic or wooden train tracks together, and enjoys crashing his toy vehicles, again with appropriate sound effects. He goes crazy for a toy airport, garage or barn that has an elevator or ramp. He knows the names of all the trains in THOMAS AND FRIENDS.

But awhile back, he said he was going to be a woman when he grows up, because that's what his sister said she was going to be, and when she said "no, you're going to be a man," he was intent on contradicting her.

He loves using urinals and much prefers them over sitting down to pee. He loves his khakis with many pockets, he adores baseball hats, and back when it was Halloween, he had to be in a Lightning McQueen Pit Crew costume.

Yet his preschool teachers told us that earlier this year, he got into a dress in the dress-up area, put on the princess slippers, and cracked them all up.

Psychologists will tell you this is all normal experimentation and doesn't mean anything. Happily, the other kids don't tease him about his choices, so it's all fun with no down side.

But sometimes I do have a stray thought, as any parent might when witnessing such experimentation, what if my son turns out to be gay? Whatever happens will make no difference in my love for him, but even though things have come farther along in this society when it comes to acceptance of homosexuality, there's still a lot of attitude adjustment I'm afraid will take generations to fix. So I find myself hoping he turns out straight, because his path in life may be easier because of it. Not easy, of course -- relationships and dating are fraught with perils. Whatever the boy turns out to be, traveling the road to love is going to involve bumps along the way.

Yet I also wonder if my worry for him reveals I'm prejudiced underneath it all ... despite always having had dear, close gay friends of both genders, and priding myself on being a good old fashioned Liberal to whom such things as sexual orientation just plain don't matter.

In the meantime, I watch as he has fun in his sister's PJs -- he does look awfully cute in them -- and figure at the very least, I've got a story to tell at his wedding ... whatever kind of wedding it turns out to be.


Anonymous said...

You know what'll make the biggest difference, no matter how he turns out? A mom and dad who love him for who he is. That's why he's already ahead of the game.

Uncle Bill

Anonymous said...

He's not gay, but if he's saying things like he is going to grow up to be a woman someday, and is emphatic about it, he may have gender dysphoria. Since his interests seem to be equally balanced between masculine and feminine interests, he may be leaning towards gender-fluid. This is ok. Let him decide who he wants to be.