Can’t We Just Hug?

After seeing Frozen, celebrating the start of winter break (how appropriate), we (my friend, her mom and I) took a little stroll to the Disney store to just soak in nostalgia and childhood. We made a beeline for the Frozen merchandise which quickly reminded me of my younger years and my persistent need for the new dolls and toys and video games. All these thoughts swirling around in my mind, interrupted by,

“Daddy, this one! It’s Elsa, she’s perfect.”

I automatically dismissed it because it was a high voice and a child so, you know…normal, regular. I was just waiting for the parent to say yes or no in the ever so kind and loving way that they always do. What I heard instead kind of surprised me,

“Are you sure? What about the handsome boy doll?”

“No this one, this one! She’s perfect.”

“Okay, okay. Lemme ask your mom. Hey, he wants a doll. Yeah, the doll from Frozen….No, the girl one. The Ice Queen. [laughs] Okay….Yeah..” [turns to son]

I’m not sure how this conversation ended because eavesdropping isn’t good but it reminds me of an issue that I’ve noticed.

A child, female or male, wants a doll or costume for a character of the opposite sex. I don’t quite understand why this happens but when a child makes this decision the parent says No. Not only ‘no’ but also going so far as to offering a different suggestion that might even be more appropriate in correspondence to their child’s gender.

Color shouldn’t be a gender indicator either. Just because he/she is wearing a shirt with pink on it doesn’t necessarily mean he/she is a girl.

The thing that I find strange and just plain unjust about this trend is that after the child makes this oh-so-horrible choice there is this (really ridiculous) belief that this FATAL decision is the single and most obvious indicator that their child might not be a part of the gender binary (female or male) or may even be (hold your breath) NOT HETEROSEXUAL.

This is the part I don’t understand…what’s so scary about having a child that might be gay or lesbian or asexual or demisexual or transsexual or gender fluid or a part of the beautiful gender spectrum that reminds us that our minds are complex and colorful like a rainbow? Why do we make movies and stories and preach lessons about being yourself  if we’re scared of the true answer? Is the lesson actually be yourself as long you’re biggest internal conflict is coming out straight or finding true love or being afraid to reach your dreams?

Quite a lesson. I’ve learned a lot, let’s just hug it out.


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