The Austin Chronicle

More Treat, Less Trick

By Jimmie D, November 7, 2010, 11:51pm, Qmmunity

Halloween is a lovely mess of fantasy and macabre pageantry at its finest, and also my favorite people-watching event of the year. Yet, it remains the one night a year when cross dressing is okay, and even encouraged, for all the wrong reasons.

When children are policed about their gender while essentially playing dress up, they are being told it is unacceptable, perhaps even with the caveat that one is gay for doing so. I can't say I'm surprised after the recent rash of teen suicides by children who were gay or presumed to be by their peers, and that breaks my heart.

I came across this post by Cop's Wife from Nerdy Apple Bottom and felt thankful that this child's mother was standing up for her son and confronting these BullyMoms head on. Generally, and as a parent, my stance on Halloween is that it's an event for children to go amass as many candies as possible in one (school)night and look awesome at the same time. I'm not going to get in the way of that, and shame on anyone who feels it necessary to chide a child, or their parents, about their inappropriate gender representation on a day where they are told they can be anything. It really is an insidious form of bullying, and encourages parents to discourage their children to be whatever, or whoever, they want to be.

When I was Pee Wee Herman at the tender age of 5, I don't recall any drama in my Kindergarten class that day. Perhaps it was because I was perceived as a girl dressing up as a boy, or that I went to a fairly liberal and diverse school here in Austin. Kids should have the freedom to be silly and not have to worry about the political implications of their costumes. They are our future, you know.

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