4th November 10, 01:10 PM
I was invited to a birthday party for a friend of a friend. I'd met this woman before a couple times, but I don't really know much about her... or as it turns out, her children, who were at the venue that evening, as well.
So I show up kilted because... well, I wear kilts frequently. Half an hour in, I get pulled aside by the honouree's sister. Apparently, she had spent pretty much the entire time I was there explaining to the 6yo boy why I was allowed to wear a dress and he wasn't. Y'see, he has gender confusion as well as mild autism. He insists on wearing his sister's dresses when he's at home, but he has gleaned on his own that it isn't socially acceptable so he never wears them out of the house (his family is very supportive of him and haven't tried to force him into gender roles).
So she pulls me in for reinforcements and to seal the deal. We went over all the pieces of the attire: kilt, sporran, hose, flashes... I explained to him that kilts aren't dresses... they're for men to wear, particularly those from Scotland or proud of that heritage... many warriors throughout history have worn kilts... and that it's ok for a man to wear one, even though most men (even in Scotland) don't. He asked a few questions about this magickal land called "Scotland", to determine what else is different other than trouserless men... like do they have tornadoes, or kitchens, or showers, or cows...
Sadly, I'm not sure that we really got through to him. At the end his mind started drifting away, so I don't know how much he understood. As his bedtime was approaching, his dad took him home, and that was that.
No one was upset with me that I wore the kilt... rather they complimented it and the boy's aunt said she was glad that I did wear it, as it allowed them to address a sensitive topic in a (hopefully) constructive way. Our mutual friend even suggested that they get him a kilt to compromise between wanting to wear a skirt and being socially acceptable as something a boy can wear.
Even though it turned out ok, I am still a little... hrm... I don't really know the word... shaken? I guess it'll do. I'm a little shaken by the sheer awkwardness of the situation.
I don't want to get into a "this is how she should raise her child" or anything like that... I'd wager that's a quick way to get the thread removed! But... have any of y'all be in a similar situation? If so, how'd you handle it?
4th November 10, 01:28 PM
Can't say I have, but I just want to say that it sounds like you handled it very well.
T. E. ("TERRY") HOLMES
proud descendant of the McReynolds/MacRanalds of Ulster & Keppoch, Somerled & Robert the Bruce.
"Ah, here comes the Bold Highlander. No arse in his breeks but too proud to tug his forelock..." Rob Roy (1995)
4th November 10, 01:32 PM
Wow, that's one heck of a situation. I think it would be quite difficult to handle it better than you did.
4th November 10, 01:35 PM
You did really well if you ask me. I was thinking they might buy the boy a kid's kilt and let him wear that around everywhere. They could call him Scotty if this would otherwise embarrass them. But no matter what, it's the family's business to set their own limits for the child. That above all will serve him well in the future.
Last edited by Canuck of NI; 4th November 10 at 01:43 PM.
[SIZE="2"][I]"If you look long into the abyss, the abyss looks into you." - F.N. [/I] [/SIZE]
4th November 10, 01:41 PM
I have never been in that situation but if I am, I hope I can handle it was well as you. I think you did an excellent job in educating not only him but his mother.
Vice President, Metro Richmond Police Emerald Society
4th November 10, 01:42 PM
I've been sort a similar situation. My ex wife is a terrible parent, the product of terrible parenting, and sadly has one child whom I can't raise- he is from a post-us relationship. This little boy has some gender issues, as well, as a result of how he's been raise. Mom understands the kilt and has explained it to him, but Grandpa John is one of those people who has his views, his are the right ones, and anyone disagreeing is wrong. According to Grandpa John, I am a cross dresser. My ex's son and I have discussed the issue, and although I have tried to explain things to him, he's still very confused. Grandpa John is never very helpful in anything really... especially when it comes to issues he doesn't agree with. It's really causing issues for this little boy, and although I do what I can for him, there's not much. Sucks... It really effects my kids, as well.
"Two things are infinite- the universe, and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein.
4th November 10, 02:00 PM
That is a delicate situation indeed. I think you handled it very well.
4th November 10, 02:10 PM
I'm glad you explained the difference between a kilt and a skirt to the boy, so he understands the difference between womens' garments and mens' garments.
But if he has a propensity to want to wear womens' garments, I'm not sure it's a good idea to guide him toward kilt wearing. That would seem to run counter to what you tried to teach him.
4th November 10, 02:13 PM
I think you handled it well, considering you were dealing with a child with autism. I don't know all that much about autism, but what I do know is that it tends to hinder the capacity of the individual to treat social norms as, for lack of a better word, authoritative; its almost as though autism hinders the less-than-rational part of the human brain, IMHO.
I expect the child to eventually decide whether the kilt is a good idea, as opposed to dresses and skirts. I would agree that the child is probably looking at the practical side of clothing, since he clearly isn't concerned with social norms against cross-dressing. If I knew the family, I would buy them an SWK Youth kilt, in the tartan the child likes most; those things are so inexpensive you could buy a whole range of sizes as the child grows.
1) I will accept the rules that I feel necessary to my freedom.
2) I am free, no matter what rules surround me.
3) I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
--R. A. Heinlein
4th November 10, 02:29 PM
Yes, certainly an awkward situation but you handled it very well.
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