Halloween is supposed to be a time for creativity. Children and adults both expand their imaginations and flex their mind-muscles to come up with fun, fresh, and original costume. For one night, we celebrate the idea that a person can be whomever they want to be, without judgement, shame, or hate. At least, that is the idea. Even in 2015, costume choices that don't reflect an adherence to gender normativity can cause the small-minded to react with hatred and cruelty, even toward little kids who are just trying to have fun. No one knows this better than Will Hut and his 9-year-old son, Liam.
Every year Liam — with the help of his loving and supportive father — makes his own costumes. In past he has gone trick-or-treating as Black Swan and Cleopatra. This year, Liam wanted to dress up as Cruella de Vil for Halloween, and oh my god, you guys, he did one hell of a job. The costume was fierce, flawless, and definitely highlighted Liam's passion for theater and design. I'm not usually one to say that little kids are "going places" but I mean, this little friend has real skills.
Of course, instead of just reveling in those killer skills (and generally pausing to meditate on the too-often-forgotten greatness that is Cruella de Vil), people had a problem with a male child dressed up as a fictional female character. (Because in a world where people think it's funny to dress up as Bill Cosby, this kid is what we need to clutch our collective pearls over.)
Luckily, Will's response — and the responses of other parents who have had to defend their sons' right to wear whatever they want on Halloween — reminds us that it doesn't matter what anyone else ultimately thinks. Just let kids be kids (except on Halloween when we should just let them be any damn thing they want to be).
"Everyone Is Entitled To Their Opinion"
Will Hutt told The Huffington Post that after sharing photos of his son's costume, an individual responded, commenting on "how wrong it was to do this to a child."
Instead of responding with a long sentence of expletives, Will decided to "take the high road," writing on his Facebook page:
“We deal with this type of small-minded person on a daily basis. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I will always support and encourage my kids creativity happily and without apology."
Paul Henson was brilliant in his (sadly needed) explanation for why his son, Caiden, chose to dress up as Elsa from Frozen. Along with an adorable picture, Paul wrote on his Facebook page:
"Anyone that knows us, knows that we generally let Caiden make his own choices, to an extent. Well, he has decided on a Halloween costume. He wants to be Elsa. He also wants me to be Anna. Game on...Keep your masculine bullshit and slutty kid costumes, Halloween is about children pretending to be their favorite characters. Just so happens, this week his is a princess."
"It’s Okay, My Costume Is The Awesomest"
Lori Duron had a difficult time coming to terms with her son's gender dysphoria, afraid of what others would think and how he would be treated. When she explained to him that some people may "ask questions" because they have never seen "a boy dressed like a girl who likes girl stuff before," her son's response was epic.
“I know. I don’t care. It’s okay, my costume is the awesomest,” he replied, reassuring me.
Now she worries about that a day might come when he sacrifices what is in his heart and starts wearing "boy costumes" to avoid being teased or bullied. Something tells us, she won't have to worry about that with this little badass.
"My Instinct Is To Pounce"
Kelly Byrom beautifully describes a night of trick-or-treating, when her son chose to go as a fairy for Halloween. When a gentleman looked at her and her husband and said, "I'm not even going to ask about that", they both ignored him and went on about their evening.
In the end, she "just wanted to have a good Halloween night. And thanks to cooler heads, that's exactly what we had."