Here's a great story. Before I delve into it, I'd like to point out that there is some controversy over it. At base it is about a boy who likes to wear skirts and the actions of the boy's father. Now, the story is in German at the feminist magazine EMMA. oneandonlygabriel has provided a rough translation. Then Gawker picked it up. And Aravosis added his two cents about whether or not the child is transgender.
In my view, it doesn't matter whether or not the child is transgender. Because the child was born with a boy's body and likes to wear dresses, the child is gender-variant. And the father in question still gets my applause.
The dad, Nils Pickert, says his 5-year-old son likes to wear dresses. When they lived in West Berlin, he says, it wasn't as much of an issue as it has become since they moved to a village in the south of Germany. It is now talk of the village. In Berlin, after first trying to dissuade the child from wearing skirts and dresses, which did not result in the boy having friends, Nils made a huge conceptual leap and decided that he would dress in a skirt as well.
After they moved, Pickert's child was at first reluctant to wear a dress in public, even though that is what would have made him otherwise comfortable, because he was afraid he would be laughed at by the other kids in the preschool.
But that all changed one "skirt and dress day" when he and his dad made a resident of the town stare so hard she slammed into street light face first.
"My son was roaring with laughter," says Pickert. "And the next day he fished out a dress from the depth of his wardrobe. At first only for the weekend. Later also for nursery-school."
Happy ending, as far as some of us are concerned:
And what's the little guy doing by now? He's painting his fingernails. He thinks it looks pretty on my nails, too. He's simply smiling, when other boys (and it's nearly always boys) want to make fun of him and says: "You only don't dare to wear skirts and dresses because your dads don't dare to either." That's how broad his own shoulders have become by now. And all thanks to daddy in a skirt.
Piper Weiss at Shine adds...
For parents and educators, bullying is a critical issue with no clear-cut prevention method. How do you protect a child from the cruelty of others and how can a bullied child walk away without feeling defensive or ashamed? Pickert's plan comes down to more than just a dad in a skirt. It's an approach that translates across borders, both physical and theoretical: If a child is attacked for being different, don't leave them hanging. Be different with them.
I applaud this gentleman.