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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. Rockzilla

    This is all so blown out of proportion. It is HALLOWEEN for goodness sake. I think she is an awesome mom for not freaking out. She handled this maturely. Her son had a great time and now the costume is put away. No harm done. Whether he becomes gay or straight .... this is no ones business but his family's. To all of you haters out there.... get a grip.... it was Halloween.

    November 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  2. Gavin

    "If my kid said he wanted to dress up as a girl, id straight up slap him!"

    Your kid should be slapping you for your childlike behavior. It is pathentic how fearful people are of sexual identify and sexual orientation issues in this country.

    November 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  3. Scott, Kansas City

    Kudos to a mom who supports her child's choices to express himself at play. However, this story was over shadowed by CNN's choice of psychological "expert" -how did this story turn into a mom "outing" her child? This kid dressed up as his favorite cartoon character, his mom shared it. I don't see anything indicating the child is gay or that his mother shared the great secret. I think the psychologist needs to read up on his definition of homosexuality. All gays boys don't dress up as women and all boys who dress as a girl for Halloween aren't gay. As this boy's sexual identity develops I hope he is free from adults like the other moms and this doctor who make inappropriate assumptions based upon something so trivial as a one-time costume choice.

    November 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  4. Jen

    This poor little guy is being used by mom, and the media! SHe admitted that there were just a handful of negative mom's at the school. This is about HER and her looking for praise. The child is lost in translation 🙁

    November 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  5. Wil

    As a gay man I have to say thank you for supporting your son no matter what he is in life. I wish that others would look at this as an example of the true way to be a parent.

    Thank you both for being there for your child!!!!!!

    November 5, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  6. Stelli

    Forgot to add, the news article said the kids had no problem with this but the parents did. Kudos to the kids and maybe us adults should take a page of their book!

    November 5, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  7. openureyes

    Sorry Dave, but this isn't a conservative vs liberal issue. And it's not a CNN censorship issue. I lean to the right on many issues myself and I agree with the vast majority of posters here. This is a child dressing up for Halloween. And the "doctor" is an imbecile. Lighten up.

    November 5, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  8. Mack Harrell

    Your psychologist is a nutjob. Go back to school. It's time to wake up and acknowledge that homophobia leads to gas-chambers.

    And a 5 year old has no genital-sexual identity!!!

    You bunghole!

    November 5, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  9. Stelli

    If girls can dress up as boys for halloween with the moustache and everything boys should be able to dress as girls, period. Enough of the double standard!

    November 5, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  10. Sherry

    I am pretty sure this is called freedom of choice........and for goodness sakes .... it's JUST HALLOWEEN!

    November 5, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  11. indebta

    i had a neighbor boy that would play dolls with my sisters & me. he even dress in a dress for our tea parties. he now a grown man with a wife & 2 kids. he a great family, always there for everything that his family does. he even dress as girl during halloween when young just cuz he wanted to be diferent than his friends. his saying " u can't laugh at yourself then your no fun"

    November 5, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  12. Shaun

    if a girl wanted to dress up as iron man, there wouldn't be a problem with that.. so whats the big deal?

    November 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  13. Get a grip

    48 year old straight male here. Married 18 years with two kids. In 3rd grade i dressed up as a girl for Halloween. Didn't mean I was gay. Didn't "turn me gay". the next year I went as a hobo. Didn't mean I was going to wind up homeless. Stupid doctor...stupid people complaining about this mom. Get a grip people. He's bascially still a baby. Let him have fun pretending to be something he's not. And by the way.. he dressed up as Daphne from Scooby Doo...so maybe it really means he'll grow up to be a ghost hunting "meddling kid". See how stupid this whole discussion is?

    November 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  14. marinela

    oh please!! this guy is boloney! the kids is 5 yr old and even if he was 15, just because you wear girls clothes does not make it gay ! and if your are so what! I remember in college my class mates dressing in gross woman clothes with make up and it was hilarius , here in American we take this too serius give a break what about girs dress as footbalr, wolf man etc etc
    Let the kids have fun! thumbs up for the mom!

    November 5, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  15. talan7

    I think the mother was trying to make a political statement. It's using her son to do it I don't agree with. To put a picture of your son dressed as a girl on your blog with a big title saying "My son is gay" is just stupid. What if he turns out to be straight. He's going to have to live with kids teasing him about this picture all through school.
    I don't agree with homosexuality but I tolerate it. What I can't tolerate is this whole notion of asexualism that people want to perpetuate. We were made male and female with our own separate traits that complement each other. Little kids don't know better when it comes to sexuality. It's part of the parents responsibility to teach boys how to act and girls how to act.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Sadly, I'm not surprised that people jumped to the conclusion that this little boy is gay. I HIGHLY doubt this is the case, but so what if it is?! At least he will grow up knowing that he has supportive, loving parents that will be there for him no matter what life decisions he makes! I have far too many friends whose parents "molded" them into what their PARENTS wanted them to be, and now they are suffering because they have no sense of who they TRULY are!

    My 3 year old niece dressed up as Brobee (male character from Yo Gabba Gabba) last year and as Blue (female character, though many assume Blue is a boy) from Blue's Clues this year...was she gay last year but now she's straight?! I don't think so!! She also wants to play football...just like her STRAIGHT, married Aunt!! She, just like this little boy, will turn out to be a well-rounded individual because she was allowed to EXPLORE her likes and dislikes, without regard to her sexuality!!

    November 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  17. gtsmoker

    Great way to exploit your child.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  18. Pope Beligerent I

    Dr. Gardere is blowing the whole situation ridiculously out of proportion. There are far, FAR more embarrassing pictures of me on the internet than that – including some in drag from my childhood through my twenties – and I am no less happy, well-adjusted or heterosexual. And part of my being so happy and well-adjusted was knowing that I had parents that would support and love me no matter what I turned out to be. Sarah is to be roundly and continually applauded for her support of her son and her reaction to the absurd bigotry he faced, and for making her bravery public as an example of what a loving mother should do.

    And to say that it's a parent's worst nightmare to "have to fathom whether their child may be gay" displays a fundamental lack of understanding that is disturbing on the part of a psychologist.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  19. James Irwin

    Dr. Gardere has absolutely no idea what he's talking about. He's about 20 years behind on current research in the field.

    I doubt he's even read the blog entry.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  20. Beth Miller

    The doc is a dud and added nothing to this interview.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  21. Emily

    Seriously?

    My brother dressed up as a girl for halloween one year with a wig and minnie mouse dress...who the hell cares.

    I think it is reassuring since, it shows that they have no concept of gender and roles, etc.

    We should be embracing that kids are so open minded and not caring about who sees them.

    LETS GET BACK TO ENJOYING HALLOWEEN and not analyzing people's every move. There are worse things to be worrying about than a boy dressed up as a girl for Halloween. Some people in this world have never even tasted or enjoyed candy.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  22. NotaPoster

    If my kid said he wanted to dress up as a girl, id straight up slap him!

    November 5, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  23. Sissi

    Whats funny about this is a guy in highschool can dress like a woman and have it be a spectacular joke and everyone commends him for it and want to be his friend because of it...(like the quater back of the football team) and it has nothing to do with him being gay, and a five year old does it for halloween( a day where your supposed to be able to dress as anything because its halloween and thats what the costumes are for) and all the sudden he is gay?? Some people are just unbeleivable....

    I thought it was a great costume, and it shows that he has quite the creative mind!!

    November 5, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  24. Joe

    The people who take issue with this should be taken to an island and left there to their own devices. We can call it idiot island. Idiots, all of them. My 12 year old boy likes girls and went a s a zombie french maid for Halloween. I guess I better take him to a shrink now is is damaged for life. I also have another son who is gay...Those fo you who have gay children and have shuned them..you will go to idiot island too.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  25. mom in wv

    good heavens,,it was a halloween costume..
    little girls dress as male characters
    older kids and adults 'cross-dress' at halloween all the time
    what's the big deal ?

    a halloween costume will not make him gay or straight.
    he is what he is...
    and what difference does it make either way ?

    kudos to his mom !

    November 5, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  26. Charlie

    Phrasing such as "worst nightmare" is frankly quite insulting – I'd imagine that for many parents their "worst nightmare" would be in fact to loose their child. 'Dr. Jeff" should know better; since he is being used as for his supposedly "expert" opinion, I would suggest that he takes a more moderate approach.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  27. Adam

    I think the saddest thing about this whole situation is that its even considered news. So a kid wanted to dress up like Daphne from Scooby Doo.....big deal. Anyone that thinks its an "issue" really needs to expand their horizons and take stock of whats going on in the country.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  28. ignacion

    it doesn't mean a dang thing – my son wanted to dress as hannah montana for halloween and I let him. his dad wasn't too thrilled but you know what? they are kids! next year? he wants to dress up as spongebob or patrick. i wonder what that means?

    November 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  29. David, CA

    I think the little guy just has a good sense of humor and thought it would be funny and get a few laughs. A little kid isn't going to think in terms of straight or gay! The other mom's need to stop being busy bodies and get a clue- it's halloween! Get over it.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  30. WinchLock

    It is just a Halloween costume. Much ado about nothing.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  31. Kevin mullinax

    I seriously question the producers of this news program's judgement in having this particular psychologist commentating on this situation. I found his comments about referring to having a child turn out to be gay as "every parents' worst nightmare". Also, as has been most eloquently stated here, this child has no concept whatsoever of gay or straight....and judging from the reactions of his classmates, evidently neither do they. Plus, from his rather lukewarm condemnation of the parents' reactions, one has to wonder if he didnt have his own hidden agenda in all of this....

    November 5, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  32. Christie

    This Psychologist is an idiot! This isn't about a five year old being gay and being outed it is about certain sects in society lacking tolerance! Ridiculous comments made by the "expert" good story otherwise.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  33. tm1946

    It is Halloween, get over it. One of my granddaughters wanted to be Cleopatra. I guess I need to keep her away from asps. It is a costume for FUN. Likewise do not like all the PC schools who do not allow scary or violent characters, Gosh, folks, it is supposed to be fun not how politically correct you can get.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  34. cat

    I agree with a lot of the comments already posted. This is a 5-year old child. Kudos to the mother for letting him dress in a COSTUME that he liked. The mother may be "courageous" for being supportive and standing up to the jerks to looked down on her and her child, but to bring sexuality into this and suggest she's courageous for "outing" her son is ABSURD. My husband is in the mental health field, and I find it astounding that a mental health "professional" would suggest such garbage. Also, I'm a straight female who is moderately "girly" now that I'm in my twenties–and was very feminine in high school and such–but as a young child, I idolized my tom-boy older cousin who was not very feminine and wore boy clothes, played sports geared more toward boys, and even played "war" instead of dolls or school. And if we did play school, she was sometimes a boy. She also grew up with 2 brothers and only 1 sister. She's not scarred for life or anything. Why is this considered normal but a little boy dressing up as a female character is so taboo? Also, high school and college boys and girls dress the opposite during homecoming (flag football, "coming home" celebrations, etc.) and that's considered totally normal. So, maybe years from now when he's old enough to understand sexuality he may realize he's gay or straight. Either way, he is who he is. Good for his family, and I hope he grows to be very self-aware and confident. Good grief! We just love to lump everyone into a category, no matter how silly or insulting. And as others pointed out, finding out your child is gay is NOT a parent's worst nightmare. I'd have to agree that losing a child to illness/an accident/etc. is the worst. Then after that, it would have to be knowing you failed to let your child BE WHO (S)HE IS!!!!

    November 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  35. Freedom

    Let the kid dress in any COSTUME that he wants. Parents should be accepting and not hurtful to a child. It is a day of costume, not social judgement. Someone needs to tell those parents who made fun of a child to get a life and act like an adult. This who situation really angers me. I feel so bad for the child and his family...

    November 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  36. Seriously

    My son died when he was 2. That was my worst nightmare! If he were alive today and wanted to dress in a girl's halloween costume, no problem! If he turns out to be gay, no problem! I love my children for WHO they are and that includes their sexual orientation. Dr Jeff obviously either has no children or only offers conditional love to them. How sad!

    November 5, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  37. David

    he is 5 years old, let him play. if in costum, with doll, other.
    What if a girl wanted to be shaggy? no one would care.
    why Dr. Jeff Gardere, clinical psychologist, weighs in and addresses if sexuality is a factor here? WHY , dont we have anything important to worry about? or Enjoy. I hope the kid had a happy pagan halloween.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  38. Gwen

    Wow really this made the news??? Why can't other just let people be happy!? Who cares!!! If its not harming your health people.... get over it!

    November 5, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  39. hector

    My son is 2 1/2 years old and everything he sees on tv he wants... weteher it is a barbie or an action figure, cars etc... as a parent you are the one who has to teach him what toys are meant for boys and girls... just because he said he wants a barbie doesn't make you a bad parent to let him know that what he wants is not meant for him...

    November 5, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  40. Brittany Murray

    I can't wait for the day that events like this don't spark a firestorm. It doesn't matter what the child wore for halloween, what matters is that he had a good time. Imagine if his parents had denied him the costume. He would have been hurt and confused. Sometime this society makes me sad.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  41. A-Yazd

    What's wrong with people? it is halloween you can dress up however you want!!!! My friend was getting b*tched at for dressing up like a priest, too!! People need to relax and understand it's halloween!!!! one night in 365 nights that people can dress up however they want.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  42. GrimShaw

    GEEZ.. people need to get a life.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  43. Pilfer

    This child will be much happier if he was free to express his harmless creativity all they way to adulthood.

    I feel sorry for the children of parents who are freaked out about this.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  44. Lyn Hamilton

    Dr. Jeff Gardere is a pea-brained idiot.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  45. tom c.

    the people that complain about such things should get a life. who really cares what kids or adults dress like on halloween? 50 years ago people didn't care. so take your rightwing attidude back to the closet.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  46. Lyn Hamilton

    OMG – the kid is 5 .. it's a costume. When my son was that age He-Man and She-Ra were popular – when we played, he wanted to be She-Ra .. why??? Because her sword did more things than He-Man's.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  47. MMm

    Back in High School the senior guys dressed up like cheerleaders. It was funny but no one cared.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  48. Minnesota

    Halloween is for kids and it's suppose to be fun. Kids get to play dress up and uyse their imagination. When my son was 4 his favorite movie was the Wizard Of Oz...he wanted to be Dorothy for Halloween and I had no problem with letting him dress the part. He is almost 11 yrs old now and has no lasting effects for playing dress up. We need to let our children be children because adult hood comes way too fast. I say thumbs up to Sarah for letting her child be a child.

    November 5, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  49. TomBoy

    I'm a straight girl. But as a kid, EVERY year I only wanted to dress for Halloween as an Imperial Stormtrooper. I certainly didn't want to wear the princess costumes my mom wanted to buy. It's dress-up. That's all.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  50. MMW

    Last year on Halloween, my then 3 year old son went as Vanna White. This year, a ghost. I don't see any thing wrong with it, and those who do, REALLY? That's what you are worrying about, shame on you!!!

    November 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  51. Dave

    CNN what is appropriate posting those who only agree with the liberal side of things? Hey have some decency let everyones view be heard!

    November 5, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  52. stonecoldstupid

    ok, i went to a school party when i was 5 dressed as a girl, skirt and all. fooled a lot of people too. and there are pics of me somewhere out there. am I gay? ask my wife of 7 years. GET A LIFE PEOPLE!

    November 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  53. Eddie

    The so-called expert says:

    "I have to tell you, I work with many heterosexual as well as gay couples, and it is the worst nightmare of both the heterosexual and the gay couples to have to fathom that their child may be gay..."

    WTF is he talking about? It's exactly that kind of bigotry that this mom is working against. CNN should be ashamed of including this moron on their channel.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  54. Mom

    Let's see. A five year old would rather dress as an intelligent person who solves crimes than a violent cartoon character. And somebody has a problem with this?!

    This child is too young to understand gender the way that adults do (and are trying to force on him). Kudos to mom for supporting her son's interests...whatever they are.

    And if he wants to go to prom dressed in a gown, I hope she's just as supportive then.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  55. ucantbserious

    The only thing offensive about all of this was that "Dr.". The smirk on his face and eye-rolling and condescending smile made me want to reach through my computer screen and smack him. It's people like him that are making things WORSE, not better. This child is FIVE!!! What is the big friggin deal? My 5 year old dressed as a Jonas Brother last year – everyone thought it was cute and no one had a problem with it. Why do the standards seem to be different with boys? And when did busy-body school moms become the morality police??? This story just burns my butt. Good for Sarah and her family for not allowing themselves to be bullied by a bunch of dumba$$es.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  56. Karen

    My goodness he's a five year old! Kids at that age copy everything they see around him. My guess is that he wanted to dress up like his mother who has a profound (positive) influence on his life.

    The adults are wrong for making much ado about nothing. And now this child will think there's something "wrong" with him because he wanted to dress in costume. It's the adults who have issues with homophobia and intolerance for others who have the problems, not the kid.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  57. Wolfie

    Dr. Jeff Gardere, please get a grip. This child is FIVE. FIVE. He is not a sexual being yet, he's still learning to be a person! You can't "out" a five year old. His Mom is absolutely right to say that Hallowe'en is a day for dress up, if the boy wants to dress up like a girl, who cares? As she also pointed out, if a little girl wanted to go dressed up like Superman, who would care? Why are we so sensitive to males who cross that line, but not females? Geez, America, lighten up and let the kids have a little fun. And remember HE'S FIVE. He's not gay, he's not straight, he's a child, and children like to play pretend and dress up. Get over it.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  58. Jamie

    I would find it to be a nightmare if I decided to come out as a lesbian to my parents and found out that they were homophobic!! That would be more upsetting and tragic than if my son or daughter was gay or lesbian. I would and will support my children no matter what their sexual preference is!

    November 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  59. lulee

    Is this really in the news? What a scarey world we live in.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  60. Deborah

    Sarah, you and your husband are a breath of fresh air. Who will be our children's advocates if not us as their parents? Whatever he turns out to be – gay, straight, in-between – your son will surely be a well-adjusted, happy individual who knows the safety and security of having parents who love him no matter what. Bravo to both of you!!!!

    November 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  61. sadsociety

    I think it's shameless people are getting so upset about this...when I was a little girl, one halloween I dressed as a hobo, another as a boy and yet another as a football player. And you know what??? I am so far from being lesbian and am a "girly, girl" to boot. Though I was quite the tomboy as a kid and loved to climb trees and show up the boys in running races. I have 2 daughters and a son. This year my son dressed as "Jason" from the Friday the 13th movies. Do I worry he's going to be a slasher?? No...Now I must say, were my son want to dress in a family costume, I wouldn't mind it by I know my husband would. Whatever this little boy grows up to be, well cudos to him and shame on Dr. Gardere for saying this little boy was outed. What if the next few years, the little boy dresses as Shaggy, then Scooby, then Thelma, then Freddie and perhaps even the Mystery Machine??? Does that mean he wants to be a beatnick, dog, female scientist, jock and car???

    Get real!!!

    November 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  62. peto

    He did not dress as a "gril". A 5 year old child dressed as a cartoon character for Halloween.
    The over-analysis is plain silly.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  63. Momma of 4

    So, if there is a womanless beauty review contestant, does that make them gay? And if it were a little girl dressed up as a fireMAN, does that make them gay?

    November 5, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  64. OhMy

    He's five now, and would not have been a big deal, but the fact of the matter is the mom should not have posted his photo on the web with a title like that. Sarah, he will grow up someday, and may not appreciate that YOU blew it out of proportion and made it all about YOU by writing a blog about YOUR situation and YOUR rights as a mom. What about the boy? If it really was about him, you would have blown off the other judging moms at the party and enjoyed the day with your child. Instead, you had to make it your issue on your blog and I hope that your actions don't humiliate him as an adult. The Internet has a funny way of never going away.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  65. Tigerlily32

    He is 5 years old!..I think the mother knows more than Dr. Jeff Gardere does!..Worst nightmare?, being gay?..i have 3 children if one of my 2 sons or my daughter told me they were gay when they are older, I would not care...you know..when children want to dress as the opposite sex for such things as halloween, they are not thinking about thier sexuality, they are thinking about HAVING FUN! Us as adults are the ones to pick these things out:(..Sometimes i believe that half adults can't remember what it is like to be a child. Can anyone tell me at that age were you debating over your sexuality or thinking about what toy to play with next?..Adults really need to stop nit picking children..let them be...the only people that outed this child were the "homophobic mothers"..and CNN:( Parents like that will eventually give their children complexes,and this is where fear and dis-respect for the different people in this world comes from!..I give Kudos to this mother! i dont see what she did wrong to warrant this attention, and next time CNN pick a doctor that dont regularly appear on talk shows that debate DNA testing(who's my baby's daddy?) or Is my BF/GF cheating?..take the lie detector test!, such as Maury!..I dunno...this story and Dr. Jeff Gardere did not make no sense to me, and im sure he will loose some of his patients over some of the comments he made!:(

    November 5, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  66. tradz

    Sigrid...Youre son is 2 and you are going to let him be lady gaga? good job

    November 5, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  67. Dave

    What is wrong with you people who think there is nothing wrong with crossing the lines of sexuality and human identity.. I think there is more wrong with you people who think it is wrong to say something against perversion. A 5 year old should not be dressing as a girl neither should his mother allow this or encourage it. He needs to grow accepting what he is a boy and later to be a man. That is what IS the reality.. Not to become a mentally ill person who does not know his own identity.. We are to accept what we are not cater to the fad of not accepting what we are physically.. This sick generation is playing games with lives that is why kids are committing suicide over gay treatment they know there is great shame in not being what they are so they leave this world in being exposed.. This is the fault of perverted people who encourage deviation.. All who agree with this Mom have real mental problems they are not free thinkers they are just buying into the old perverted mindset which does not work..

    November 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  68. Kathy Tromlbey

    For gosh sakes adults, it was Halloween! You are supposed to dress up. So what you are saying is that if you dress like a skeleton you are a skeleton? I dressed like Mary Poppins, does that mean I am Mary Poppins? Men have dressed like girls, or woman forever on Halloween. Talking about outing her 5 year old son is absoulutly ridiculous. And don't these busy body Mom's have anything better to do? I'm sure it is okay for their girls to shake thier booty, does that mean they are pole dancers or hookers? People need to get a grip!

    November 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  69. lvalen19

    Seriously... IS this what people entertain themselfs with.. If its not your kid ignore it... a 5Year old... WOW

    November 5, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  70. Melissa

    I read this blog this morning on Facebook and it touched me tremendously. My 9 year old son had an issue last year where he was called derogatory names that he didn't even know the meaning of. It was terrible for him and all because he is a little different than other kids (he is a reader and a HUGE nerd; in the gifted program and too smart for his own good). I was so touched by Sarah's understanding and wondered if i would have had the same courage to allow my son to dress as a female character. I hope that i would. I am taking this story to my heart and hope that it touches others the way that it touched me.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
  71. REM

    OMG.. It's Halloween.. I've seen guys dress up as girls all the time. Does that mean they all have to be gay?!?!? No! As the mother said- It's Halloween, you can dress up and be someone you aren't in real life.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  72. Ian Kempton

    . . .The fail is strong with this one.
    By that i mean how does this count as news.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  73. Dawn

    First of all, it was HALLOWEEN! It's a costume! He's, what, 5 years old? What on earth does he know about gay/straight? Not that it had anything to do with it, and honestly, who cares? Everyone needs to get a grip, and worry about what their own kids are doing, instead of criticizing everyone else's. I didn't know that I was supposed to consult with everyone on what my kids could or could not wear on Halloween.
    Good job mom for allowing your child to be original and think outside of the box.
    Good job kid for being creative.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  74. Jamie

    My daughter dressed up as Iron Man for Halloween. She was quite insistent that she be Iron Man. I see nothing wrong with this.
    I think people forget that children are people too. They have their own tastes in food, clothes, toys and friends. I think we do a major disservice to our children by over analyzing them and not allowing them to just be kids.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  75. Yo

    As a parent, my worst fear is not that my child turn out to be gay. I am mostly afraid he turns out to be a Republican.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  76. Worst Nightmare

    I couldn't even listen to the whole speech put on by the "expert psychologist". How ridiculous to say that any parent's worst nightmare is to have a child be gay? And how completely asinine to imply that dressing up in a costume at Halloween is somehow going to "turn someone gay"? Preposterous and offensive, CNN!

    November 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  77. Sam

    My 4 year old son was "Princess Peach" from Super Mario Bros for halloween this year. He said last year that this would be his next costume, and he stuck to it all year long. I saw a lot more harmin saying 'no' than letting him wear a princess dress, long wig and crown. He was quick to tell people he was a boy and seemed to think looking like a girl was a great trick. He has said he want to marry Princess Peach when he grows up 🙂
    Suprisingly, I didn't run into anyone who seemed to have a problem with it, and we did Halloween at a Southern Baptist event.
    Let kids be kids.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  78. JD Scarface

    "The only problem?

    Her preschooler is a boy."

    ^That's the problem. Who cares? Even if he is indeed a cross dressing queen why does that matter? It's 2010, let people live how they want to live.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  79. D-Man

    I go as the bearded woman every year. Always a big hit. People need to loosen up.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  80. Itlay Expat

    This is news because??? This such a waste of time and the "issues" everyone had with it. Get a grip, this is a non-story it was a friggin costume......and people wonder why I moved to Europe.....

    November 5, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  81. Curt Engle

    Can't believe how unprofessional "Dr. Jeff" was in this interview. Rolling his eyes while the off-camera interviewee is speaking? I'm also floored at his comments. How can you say the natural reaction of someone seeing a boy in a "girl's" costume is to assume they are gay? That is the natural reaction of a bigot. Claiming that the mother "outed" her five year old son? Doesn't someone have to know/suspect they are gay to be "outed"? HE IS 5! HE WORE A HALLOWEEN COSTUME! I think "Dr. Jeff" needs to read the the blog entry again – or maybe for the first time. He was obviously not prepared for this interview. Maximum kudos to the mom and family! This country would have a LOT fewer problems if more parents were like these.

    November 5, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  82. Farron

    I see nothing wrong with the little boy dressing up as a girl character. My lil niece was spongebob and he is a male character!

    November 5, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  83. David

    Is it a slow news day? Seriously?? My best friend in 2nd grade, a guy, dressed up as a ballerina, pink tights, blond wig, everything. Everyone thought it was hilarious.

    November 5, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  84. JCD

    Having a gay child is "every parent's worst nightmare"? What a horrible thing to say. I don't care at all if my child turns out to be gay–as long as he is happy. I hope Dr. Gardere loses every one of those gay patients he claims to have.

    November 5, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  85. Texas Pete

    That kid is going to get the stuffing beat out of him for the next 15 years if there are any pictures.

    November 5, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  86. JillAmerican

    This is absurd. The comments by Dr. Jeff Gardere were absurd as well (as well as his facial expression while the mother was talking). This boy is NOT gay, he is NOT straight ... HE IS FIVE!!!!!

    I would have told the parents who got in my face to go to &%#*.

    OMG, let him be who he is to be, which, right now is a five year old little boy.

    Kudos to his parents.

    November 5, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  87. brittany

    i commend her as well. drs, therapists and even the general public are always complaining over parents havin children play w/ gender specific toys (girls have dolls boys have trucks) however, when a parent does decide 2 let their child do something he wants "thats meant 4 the opposite sex" every 1 gets bent out of shape over it.

    November 5, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  88. Way To Go Mom!

    I agree with Sarah and totally support allowing her child to pick his Halloween costume. As she said, a 5 year old isn't gay or straight. They really don't have any concept of their sexuality (unless something has gone horribly wrong for them). They want to be like their friends – as Sarah said, her son's best friend was Daphne as well. So what that the character they picked was a girl? What's wrong with that? This wouldn't have made news if they were both Buzz Lightyear. We let little girls dress up as boys but little boys had better not be a little girl. This is tragic thinking and misogynistic to boot. Get a grip people. Let kids be kids and let them dress the way they want...especially on Halloween! However, let this be a lesson to everyone – be careful what you post on line unless you want everyone to know your business.

    November 5, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  89. Andy

    With all due respect to Dr. Gardere, a parent's "worst nightmare" is NOT finding out your child is gay. I would offer that a parents worst nightmare is losing your child (to illness, death, kidnapping). When you continue to frame the discussion this way, it will take even longer for us to come to terms with gay. Gay does NOT equal "bad."

    November 5, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  90. Louise Sloan

    Though I am glad he's into parents supporting their kids, this psychologist needs to get a grip. A silly costume on Halloween at age 5–or any age–is not any indication of anyone's sexual orientation, and it's not "outing" anyone to post such a photo, anymore than it would be outing a girl for wearing a cowboy outfit or for that matter, a princess costume. It just goes to show how deep homophobia runs in our society that a mental-health professional could even think such an absurd thing. That's why the mom titled her post "My son is gay (or he's not)", because she rightly sussed out that the issue at hand was homophobia. That it was being directed at a FIVE year old because of a HALLOWEEN COSTUME just underscores how completely absurd and phobic homophobia is actually is. Also, even if the boy DID want to wear skirts every day, it wouldn't necessarily mean he also would grow up to want to have sex with people of the same gender. There are effeminate men who love women and extremely masculine men who love men. It would be nice if CNN could find a slightly more educated expert.

    November 5, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  91. Grace

    Wait, what? Your psychologist sounds utterly clueless - he thinks she outed a 5-year old? That's the message he's taking away from this? And... calling Sarah 'courageous' for 'outing' her son?

    Seriously, where did you dig this guy up? Sarah let her son cross-dress for Halloween. Girls wear boy clothes all the time, and no one bats an eye. Grown men cross-dress frequently for events or parties. At no point does this make them gay, or make their families 'courageous' for letting people know about it. Sarah didn't out her son, she shone a spotlight on a group of women who made her son uncomfortable. And Dr Jeff's takeaway from this is that the photo's out there forever, and so... so what? He seems to be worried that this little kid will be haunted by this photo for the rest of his life. I have no idea why - we all have goofy pictures of ourselves as kids. (Incidentally, at 5 I was dressed as a mustachioed pirate.)

    But apparently Dr Jeff doesn't care so much about that. It would be the "worst nightmare" of a parent to think their kid might be gay? Uh, no. I think Dr Jeff may have some problems. CNN, I wouldn't use him again.

    November 5, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  92. Christy Farr

    She rocks. Her kid rocks. The thing is that it DOES NOT matter in this situation if he's gay or straight. What matters is that he's lucky enough to be raised by parents who let him explore life. He, unlike just about all of my life coaching clients, will enjoy the opportunity to grow up with a clue who he actually is. What a relief it would be to get to adulthood without the weight of all of that crap that society told you it means to be a boy or girl, white or black or brown, gay or straight, athletic or artistic, outgoing or shy.

    For the love of God, let these children play. It's the only chance they have to become functional adults.

    November 5, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  93. Tracey

    Are you SERIOUS??? Gay at FIVE because he dressed up in a costume?????

    Would you have the same concern about a child dressing up as an ax murderer? Would you be worried that they are a budding sociopath?? If a girl dressed up like a football player would you be worried she is a budding lesbian??? How about one who dressed up like a zombie – is she suicidal?? HALLOWEEN IS ABOUT DRESS UP AND BEING SOMETHING YOUR NOT!!

    This is completely rediculous. Truthfully, the people you would be worred about are the homophobic mothers who complained and what lessons of intolerance and fear are THEY teaching THEIR kids.

    November 5, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  94. Kaku

    Don't millions of college students cross-dress on halloween just to be ironic? Are we really tearing into the minutia of a child's sexual identity when there's so much else we could be doing?

    November 5, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  95. taylor

    I find Dr. Jeff Gardere's "worst nightmare" comment offensive. The worst nightmare of a parent is involuntary separation from a child.

    The support of the child is of primary importance. Cheers to the family for making his Halloween special.

    November 5, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  96. liam ward

    HE'S FIVE how does he even know what gay and straight is

    November 5, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  97. spikette

    we are so d*mn afraid of gay. how stupid is this. forty yrs ago my brother dressed up as a woman for halloween. he had so much fun, we all did. was a chuckle. he was 5, 6, 7??? did not turn him g*y. as a matter of fact, he stridently renounces ALL gays. he is a manly man, full of testosterone, football playing, gun tootin, fox news watchin, republican.

    go figure.

    November 5, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  98. Sigrid Stover Kjeldsen

    Hello!
    Just as Sarah, I find myself with a little boy who would rather dress like, in our instance Lady Gaga, than a power ranger or a fireman for Halloween.
    My son is only 2 and a half, so adds perhaps a bit more leway in this senerio, but the reality is that even we got flack for "allowing" him to dress like this.
    We live as expats in the UAE and were invited to, along with tons of kids from around the world, a super cool Halloween party. We came in wearing the coolest costumes (send me a place where I can send the pictures – too cute for words) but when they found out that the pink haired little adorable Lady Gaga was a boy, their amused faces sank into a judgemental frown....some kids and parents turned on their heels and walked away others were probing for answers why I had dressed him up as a girl for Halloween.
    The bottom line – BECAUSE HE WANTED TO. He may be little but that little boy knows what he likes and its his pink tutu and blasting Lady Gaga in the afternoon after nursery school. He was so excited when I brought home all the bling for the costume his eyes sparkled.

    Isn't our job as parents, regardless of some irrelevant concern for our kids sexual orinatation that we have no control of anyway, that we encourage creativity and imagination. He knows he is a boy and beats up his 7 year old sister every other day to prove it. Why can't they have fun with NO limitations when there young before they mature into the world of judgment and ridicule?
    I honor my child's right to choose – its as simple as that....

    Warmly,
    Sigrid Stover Kjeldsen

    November 5, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  99. dajackg

    Me too. Why does every little thing have to MEAN something?

    November 5, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  100. millennialdad

    I commend her very much.

    November 5, 2010 at 8:44 am |
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