My Son Wore a Dress

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About Jerry Mahoney

Jerry Mahoney is a stay-home gay dad, writer, sporadic tweeter and a frequent Bowser in Mario Kart. This piece probably appeared originally on his blog, Mommy Man. Jerry is also the author of Mommy Man: How I Went From Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad, which will be available in May from Taylor Trade Publishing.


  1. Jameseq says:

    I really enjoyed reading this follow-up

    “Come on, Bennett,” I said. “Let’s go pick one out.” I couldn’t control how the rest of the world reacted to my son’s attire, but I wasn’t going to let his own family shame him for wanting to express himself.
    As I stripped him of his boy clothes, Bennett couldn’t stop smiling. “I’m going to wear a dress outside!” he cheered. “I’m going to wear a dress outside!”
    Maybe the kid was more aware than I realized. So wearing the dress outside was the triumph? Maybe he wanted to see how strangers reacted. That’s awfully subversive for a not-quite-three-year-old.

    lolol, indeed. did you find out if Bennett was aware? was he looking for reactions?

    Bennett scurried downstairs, and they danced together, twirling and twirling, until they both fell over, giggling.

    this made me smile so much

    . She hadn’t noticed Bennett’s shorts or sneakers, hadn’t thought much about his short hair. Because he was wearing a dress, she assumed he was a girl.
    “Thank you,” I said, “but this guy’s a boy. He just wanted to wear a dress today.”

    you cant leave us hanging like that :)
    what was her reaction?

  2. Haha. As I said in my comment on it, I found half the fun to be spinning in circles in the thing and watching it fly out!

  3. You were doing amazing until you said, “but this guy’s a boy. He just wanted to wear a dress today.”


    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Is that sad because you think his son is identifying as female and that Jerry undermined his gender identity?

      If that is what you mean, I think it’s important to be clear that Bennett does not identify as a girl. There’s a difference between a boy wanting to wear a dress because he believes he’s a girl, and wants to be like other girls, and a boy who simply wants to wear a dress.

      Jerry knows his son. He is a boy who wanted to wear a dress. As a dad, he saw his child as the individual that he is. He’s not trying to make him a trans-girl simply because he wants to wear a dress. There’s a big difference there.

      • You are complete Wright, for some kids is a play, if my sister can why i cant?
        But if they feel as a girl that i sanother thing

    • i do agree, the thruh is that the boy wants to be dressed as a girl always. Might be that inside he is a girl.

  4. What a sincerely cool family!!!

  5. Valter Viglietti says:

    This is a nice article, but… me, too, I felt awkward when the author insisted on the kid’s gender.

    “It didn’t seem right. He may have been wearing his sister’s clothes at the moment, but my son is very much a boy.”
    Like he was afraid of him being effeminate…
    It seems to me he still fell into the gender binary. Instead of accepting the kid whatever his inclination is. Like saying “My son can wear dresses but, beware, he’s still a MAN!!!”.
    Jerry, are you afraid your son can turn gay? And would be it bad for you? ;)

    “Thank you,” I said, “but this guy’s a boy. He just wanted to wear a dress today.”

    Oh my oh my. Lest not be judged less than a man!
    What’s the need to point it out towards a total stranger?

    I might be misinterpreting, of course, but this attitude seems speaking about the dad’s fears (while, thank God, Bennet is just happy to be who he is).

    • I’m gay myself, so I’m certainly not worried about that. My son still identifies himself as a boy, and as long as that’s true, I’ll continue to identify him that way, too. Should he realize otherwise as he gets older, I’ll fully support him. Right now the lesson I’m choosing to teach him is, “You can be a boy and wear a dress. If that’s what you want to do, that’s OK.”

      • Awesome. :)

      • I felt like the article very specifically conveyed this, I was a little surprised to see comments that immediately took it in another direction. Just because a boy wears a dress doesn’t make him a girl any more than my wearing pants makes me a man.

        • of course not, but dressed as women it is normal to feel like a woman. Pants have another meanig for women. I do prefer skirts, i do fell more femenine and enjoy a lot, mostly a use them.

    • The mother has to face it, might be that son will be a Transexual, travestie, or homosexual. Any how, he has begun the way, going the other road will be complicate. To the parents it is dificult to accept that son can be a girl in a boys body.
      because of that:“Thank you,” I said, “but this guy’s a boy. He just wanted to wear a dress today.”
      inside she hopes that son will be a man

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