J, who is now nearly five, remarked the other day that "my plaits are like my disguise for when people say boys can't play princesses". He didn't seem at all bothered by it, and it was such a brief and off-hand comment that I wasn't even sure how committed he was to it, but it made me feel low-level sad. Until now (and still now), he has always been v comfortable liking what he likes and bossily pointing out that people who think boys can't X or girls shouldn't Y are wrong, but this pragmatic little nod to convention, the awareness that sometimes it might just be easier to let people think he *is* a girl - inevitable, probably, but sad nonetheless. I suppose it's a preferable solution to resigning himself to suitably boyish endeavours instead (for J in particular, I mean, given that a substantial proportion of his greatest likes are on the very pink end of that purported spectrum), and I take comfort in the fact that he seems to have at least made a couple of schoolfriends who think nothing of a pink sparkly boy - much easier to resist conforming, with that safety net.
Listening with interest to tales from parents of older children on all This Sort Of Thing.
Incidentally, Amphelise's post reminds me that I found myself bringing up homophobia with J for the first time a few weeks ago. It was relevant (although happily all historic and not personal) at the time, and I think he needs to have a bit of a grasp of that before he can really make sense of what Pride is all about. This is perhaps a whole other thread though and I don't want to derail this one with it!