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November 5th, 2010
08:32 AM ET

Photo of preschool boy dressed as Daphne goes viral

Sarah's 5-year-old wanted to dress as Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween this year.

The only problem?

Her preschooler is a boy.

When Sarah's son showed up at a preschool Halloween party dressed in a purple mini dress and red wig, the kids had no problem, but the moms weren't so thrilled.

Sarah, the Missouri mom, took to her blog "Nerdy Apple Bottom": "My son is gay. Or he's not. I don't care," she posted. It got over a million hits in two days and currently has over 19,000 comments.

This morning on American Morning, she tells Kiran what happened at the Halloween party.  Dr. Jeff Gardere, clinical psychologist,  weighs in and addresses if sexuality is a factor here.

Filed under: Gay Rights • Parenting
soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. Travis

    My best friend, Craig, dressed up as a Grandmother on Halloween and he is straight. Theres no correlation.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  2. Kay

    My daughter was Spiderman one year and Skeleton Pirate Jack Sparrow another year. Nobody said anything derogatory. What a double standard for boys. Good for Sara to let her son make choices. If she was to force the matter, it might hurt him, allowing him to choose makes it not such a 'big deal'.

    November 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  3. talan7


    What you want is for us people, who believe homosexuality is a sin, to accept that it's right. It's like trying to force people to believe that a lie is the truth. Yes, I tolerate it! i don't believe that it's right, but I believe people have the right to be what they want. They don't have the right to make me accept what they do as right.
    By the way, I think both sides of the argument are wrong. There are religious fanatics who try to force their beliefs on others, I don't. just as there are leftists who try to force their agendas on others. The Bible says to love others, not to accept whatever anyone does as right. I believe that if gays want to get married, they should have the right., but it should be civil marriages, not religious, and no church should be forced to have to marry a gay couple. That is what I believe is what gays are fighting for, to make it illegal for anyone to even not agree with it and to force churches to acquiesce to their demands against church doctrine.

    November 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  4. dajackg

    When my nephew was three, he made up a game wherein he pretended to be a cat – a GIRL cat, specifically – because apparently, when you're a girl cat, people give you presents. That was the game. He'd crawl around meowing, and we'd give him imaginary candy and flowers and so on. My mom was disturbed by this. "What does it mean?" she'd say. "It means he's a little kid with a great imagination," I said. That kid is now 12 years old, and guess what? Not only is he a great athlete just like his father, he's also one of the most popular kids in school.

    I used to think that living in the "Information Age" meant that people were actually better informed. They're not. They just have more opportunities to spout uninformed opinions.

    November 8, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  5. Chris

    There is a big difference between sexual orientation and gender identity. Everyone is so focused on his sexuality when this may not even be the issue at all. We are all about putting people in boxes, why not just accept them for how they are without having to put some label to it.

    November 8, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  6. Kevo

    This boy is a tranny, not gay...idea: why doesn't the mom dress him in pink tights, get him a barbie doll and an easy bake oven too. Mom: be a parent! By the way, where is the dad in this story? Shame on him for not getting involved with this young lad...and we all will wonder why this guy will be confused and be bullied at school in a few years. Please mom, don't take pictures this Halloween; the neighbors will have plenty for him to review later in his life!

    November 8, 2010 at 8:32 am |
  7. Joy Bryant

    At 3 my grandson wanted to dress in a Snow White costume going to Disney Princesses on Ice. His 3 year old female cousin was dressing as Ariel. They played dress up at home. We allowed it knowing it would be more difficult to explain why he couldn't when his cousin could. They had a wonderful time and it didn't bother us at all even when some people stared. It was just dressing up. I did say that night that I said something I didn't ever think I would say to my grandson. "Please don't get cotton candy on your dress"! My grandson is now 8, doesn't dress up as a "princess" anymore and couldn't be more boy! He plays sports and does all of the things considered "appropriate" for a boy. We have no regrets for this and I feel a lot has been made of nothing. Let this child have his fantasies as he grows up and don't make him feel he has done something wrong. We live in a society that is too judgmental and probably causes more problems when we need to focus on children being well adjusted, fed a proper diet, educated, and taught a proper value system with God the center of their lives.

    November 8, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  8. Jenny

    My 2 1/2 year old boy was a princess this Halloween. I suggested other options more then several times but he was set on princess. I let him. Everyone thought he was cute and funny. I did too. All of this discussion about the relationship between costuming and gender orientation has got me wondering. I believe that gender orientation is biological in most cases. (The reason I say "most" cases is because I believe some women turn to other women due to abuse by men and I also guess the same can be true in the reverse.) But this is not why I write. In our society that is so gender-role oriented and with so much difficulty between men and women in general (divorce statistics, abuse, sexism, etc.), it seems that the approach of teaching and/or socializing appropriate gender role behaviors does not serve us well. Men have trouble accessing their feelings and often suffer from emotional illiteracy. Assertive women are seen far more negatively then assertive men, and men and women in general seem to have great trouble understanding eachother. Could we not take this as a sign that as a country we need to take a whole new socialization approach to parenting and allow our children to access their full experience instead of requesting they start fitting into boxes so early in their lives? Can we at least talk about how to start doing this on a national level? One day, girls started wearing pants and that became okay. We voted. We worked. What about men? Are we going to raise our boys in outdated ways while we show our girls they can be anything they want to be? It seems that in order to truly become a society of gender equality that we must allow freedom of expression to both genders. And if we can truly accept that who one chooses to ultimately find love with is determined by factors well outside our control, then we could free our children to have a far fuller human experience. Thoughts?

    November 8, 2010 at 4:36 am |
  9. Danny

    GLAAD needs to stop bringing attention to shows like Glee and the new forgettable Vince Vaughan movie and address comments made by the so called psychological experts like this one. Although I can't speak for my parents, I can assure you that coming out was hardly their worst nightmare, more like a relief that I didn't have to lie to them and felt comfortable enough with them to be honest finally. This guy has it all backwards.

    BTW RIGHT on to the mom in this story. She did the right thing.

    November 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
  10. Pete

    I wrote to express (maybe a bit strongly) my concerns to Dr Gardere through his website.

    I was very surprised to get back an email AND he made a personal call to me to express his regret and apologize. My understanding is that he is working to make his complete views clear here on the CNN Blog.

    I told him that I have put my foot in my mouth many times, that I don't usually judge a man by one mistake but more by how he works to make it right.

    Im looking forward to giving him that opportunity. And I am a gay man who has had experience being gay bashed. Sometimes a mistake is just a mistake. We will see.

    November 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  11. James

    Umm, I seriously doubt that sexuality comes into play with a child that age dressing for halloween. Give me a break. Has anyone ever thought that he just likes Scooby-Doo ALOT?

    November 7, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  12. Julia Nunn

    A hundred years ago and farther back, ALL boys wore dresses until they moved on to 'short pants' when they were a bit older. No one thought the boys were in 'danger' of becoming gay. (and I'm with the woman who said her worst nightmare was having her son become a republican!) Men in kilts, Roman centurions, Egyptian kings, and little boys who like to wear dresses. What do they have in common? Each one sported a 'skirt' and each one has/had their own sexual preference.
    All you interfering old biddies (regardless of your sex) miss the point; it isn't up to you what this little boy chooses, and it isn't up to his mother either. She is wise enough to understand that, you are not.

    November 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  13. steven

    Dave you're an idiot.. when you opened your mouth your purse fell out... if anyone has issues with mental health its YOU... quit seeing dr jeff...

    November 7, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  14. Jarms

    CNN has in recent weeks run so many segments on gay bullying. In my opinion, attitudes like Dr. Jeff's are what perpetuates bullying.

    November 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  15. Michael

    Kudos to Sarah! The choice of psychologist says a lot about the network's perspective.

    November 7, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  16. Andrea C

    Really. He is 5 YEARS OLD people. He does not know what gay is. At this point in his life he’s just understanding that there are two types of people. Boys and girls. However now because of idiots like those who want to say he is gay meaning Homosexual, he will quickly learn that there are some stupid and idiotic people in this world that have nothing better to do than to label people based on a costume! For Pete’s sake it was Halloween!! You are SUPPOSED to dress up as something or someone else! Really its disgusting how "grown" people act this way. We ALL have pictures from our childhood where we were in similar situations. My mom has a picture of me as a Blue BOY monster at the age of 7. Hum.... lets see ..... Nope last time I checked I am still straight, I am a security officer, I am persuing a degree, I have a healthy son. Yeah no impact on my life as a woman or human for that matter. I am so sick of people wanting to make something out of NOTHING. OHHH lets call that teenage boy gay cuz he’s wearing a pink bracelet, when in all reality he’s supporting breast cancer. Really people. Stop trying to ruin a good thing, a fun thing a childhood experience by being STUPID!

    November 7, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  17. okiegal

    Fact left out of the story: THIS HAPPENED AT A CHRISTIAN SCHOOL.. ie, the mean moms were from a CHRISTIAN school .. What would Jesus think? Thank you to "Daphne's" mom- she is a hero!! Great job- your son is lucky.. p.s. Get him out of that school!!

    November 7, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  18. 5angels

    As a mom to 5 girls, my biggest nightmare is NOT one of them being gay, its having to BURY any of them. Bottom line, I have NOTHING against g/l/t. I have EVERYTHING against BIGGOTRY!

    November 7, 2010 at 10:32 am |
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