"You took a moment when your child could’ve learned an important lesson about how to respect the broad diversity of gender expression, and reduced it to a tangential and less important lesson about manners in public. Furthermore, by demonstrating your own discomfort with the situation, you made your kids uncomfortable too — inadvertently furthering the culture of stigma and discomfort that surrounds gender-nonconforming people."

@luka Reminds a little of an ad on French TV some years ago. An African woman in an African costume seen by a young boy in a supermarket. "Mom, did you see that lady?"
"The woman, embarrased, tells the boy "It's not polite to stare!".
The little boy: "Did you see how beautiful she is?"

@luka Very interesting post. As a parent I appreciate the permission to talk about strangers from this particular person, but others might not be ok with it. It also makes me think about similar situations with disabled people.

I agree that the awkward "it's not ok to talk about strangers" is not the best reaction in most of these cases.

As a male with very long hair I sometimes hear "why does that man have long hair" from smaller kids. I'm not even sure what to expect from the parents here.

@TauPan i think transphobia or ableism is bigger issue than good manners here.

you should expect from parents to say "well, it's perfectly ok for men to have long hair and women to have short hair"

@luka Agreed that transphobia or ableism is the bigger issue here.

If I take the "why" question literally I could only answer "I don't know" but in fact the kids are most likely asking if it's ok, which of course it is.

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