What Should I Do About My 3-Year-Old Son Wearing A Dress?
Welcome back to The Alchemist — Because Advice Columns Don’t Have To Be Useless
Question 1: What Will The World Be Like In A Century?
From The Kansas City Star’s Billy Graham advice column
The Question (summarized): I wonder what the world will be like 100 years from now. What do you think?
The Bad Advice (summarized): Don’t worry about the future because God has it handled and, no matter what, it is all going to end because the bible says so and literally nothing will change that.
My Better Advice: Worry about the future. Worry about the fucking future. Also, fuck you Billy Graham, if you weren’t worried about the future you wouldn’t be throwing fits all the time about gay people and how they might be trying to recruit your kids and shit. You worry about the future all the time — just not about any of the future things that actually matter.
Also, fuck you Billy Graham.
Look, I’m an Atheist, so personally I throw that whole “the Bible says the world is ending” thing out the window. But even if I wasn’t — even if I believed in end of times and all that — the question is, what do you want the world to look like in the meantime? Do you want a burning shithole full of smog with no clean water, massive wars, starvation, and widespread inequality? Or do you want to try to make people suffer less while you wait for whatever happens in the end of the Bible (I don’t know, I never finished reading it so I guess maybe I’ll just find out when it happens)? Saying, “eh, not my problem because it is all going to end” is pretty fucking selfish when you don’t know if it is going to end in five months, or 500 years. Pretty sure God would agree with you not letting their creation go to shit in the meantime.
Question 2: My 3-Year-Old Son Wants To Wear Dresses, What Do I Do?
The Question (summarized): My 3-year-old son wants to wear dresses and it is very harmful to him when he can’t. I don’t want to harm him or deny his true identity, what should I do?
The Bad Advice (summarized): Maybe your son isn’t an “aberration” (holy shit they actually said this fuck I can’t even) — maybe he’s frustrated, or maybe he’s just around too many women, or maybe it’s easier for him to pee in a dress. Enroll him in drama class so that he will have an “appropriate” place to dress up. Make sure you and your partner don’t try to allow anything too far out of your comfort zone!
My Better Advice: Look, I know I already used my “fuck you” for Billy Graham, but whoever wrote this advice can go fuck off into the sea.
Mom: You wrote this question with more care and empathy and acceptance than the advice columnist did with their answer. Your instinct is spot on, don’t deny your kid their identity, whatever that may be. It’s just a dress. It’s fabric. And if it gives your child joy, it will give you joy. You don’t owe anybody but your precious baby any consideration when it comes to what your child wears. I don’t know what this means for your child’s future gender identity, but the fact that you are asking not how to make your child not want to wear dresses, but how to make sure that your child is not hurt, shows me that you have what it takes to support your child in whatever the desire to wear dresses may or may not mean — and it may mean no more than the simple fact that dresses are great.
But no matter why your child wants to wear a dress: Whether it is a passing phase, a simple clothing preference, or the beginning of assertion of gender identity, supporting your child’s self-expression will always be the choice that lets your child know that they are loved and safe with you.