Handling other parents' reactions to cross-dressing child

Watch Video: Handling other parents' reactions to cross-dressing child by Connor Barnas, ...
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Handling other parents' reactions to cross-dressing child

Often, when we’re out in public, other parents sometimes react with surprise, shock and, at times, horror that I would allow my son out in public dressed – for six weeks straight –in his fabulous Peter Pan costume or in a red, shiny unitard with thigh-high, striped socks, or… They don’t understand, “Why are you allowing your son to dress like that?” And my answer always is, “Because he can. Because it’s his expression.” He isn’t locked into… we are not as a family locked into the idea that he only has one way to express himself. At this point, he’s a six-year-old boy, there is nothing that defines him in society that says he must present a specific way. And anything that did that would be a heart breaker, because he wouldn’t be able to truly be himself, he wouldn’t be able to say, “This is who I am. I want to dress this way.” So when other parents approach me – and there have been men who have approached and been like, “Well, my son would never dress like that” – and I think, “Well, they’ll never have the opportunity. And that’s okay, that’s your family. But in our family, connection is important and allowing my son to express himself is important.” And I don’t really defend him to other parents, I just say, “He dresses like that, because he can.”

Watch Video: Handling other parents' reactions to cross-dressing child by Connor Barnas, ...


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Connor Barnas


Connor Barnas is blessed and busy, living life with her husband Ethan and two children, Magdalena June, eight, and Augustus Wolfe, six in the midst of finding the sacred in the mundane and allowing space for serenity. After being given the gift of desperation, Connor began her life of recovery and discovery within the 12 Step paradigms in 1995. In 2002 she graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and married the love of her life, Ethan; moved to a beautiful, dusty, desert town; and began her journey as a wife and mother.  

In 2003, Connor co-founded an Attachment Parenting group, and became a leader shortly after.  Connor has been involved in the Attachment Parenting community as a leader and a resource, and was honored as a featured volunteer during Volunteer Recognition Week, April 2011 by Attachment Parenting International. 

After relocating and settling in Jacksonville, Florida, to be close to her family of origin, Connor founded HAP East, a local homeschooling group whose focus and mission is to create community and continuity of relationship for homeschooling/attachment parenting families. 

Connor joyfully shares her experience, strength and hope with families and friends in the recovery, homeschool, and AP communities; she combines the spiritual principles of the 12 steps with the practical and compassionate parenting strategies of API to inform her path and growth as a woman, mother, wife, and active member of her world. 

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