Henry asked me for a dress today, so we went to the store. I didn’t even like the one they chose, but I wasn’t the one who would be wearing it.
I don’t know if Henry is trans or non-binary or gender fluid, and that is not a determination I have the right to make, nor is it one that needs to be made now, or ever, really. All I know is my child asked me for something that was within my means and I had no reason to say no to, so I got it for them.
Maybe this is the beginning of something. Maybe this is an explorative fashion statement. Maybe this is just a dress. I don’t know. And it doesn’t really matter.
I do know that I have fought tooth and nail for a life where I can live my values, and today I saw the fruits of my labor in Henry’s infectious smile.
I do know that today, my child asked me for a dress. Today, my child was unafraid and unburdened by harmful and limiting concepts of the gender binary. Today, my child jumped and twirled and said, “I’m a pretty princess!” and I realized my child has never felt beautiful in their clothes before.
I have never been more proud of myself as a parent, but it isn’t about me.
My child is incredible for a million reasons, and this beautiful, innocent, joyful expression of their soul is only the beginning.
We all deserve the chance to explore. We all deserve to experience joy. We all would do well to be more like Henry – empowered and free to do and be whatever makes our heart sing and makes us feel beautiful.