30% OFF Pride collection code: USAPRIDE! Free Shipping over $99

Three Children’s Books About Boys Who Wear Dresses

by Amber Leventry September 21, 2015

By: Amber Leventry

There seems to be a shift happening in peoples’ attitudes about gender and gender expression. The shift feels positive and attitudes appear to be accepting. Boy/girl labels were removed from Target’s shelves of children’s toys, a television show on a major network showcased a popular transgender teenager, and more books about children breaking gender stereotypes can be found in libraries and bookstores.

Sometimes boys like to wear dresses. Some think, but what does that mean? It means that sometimes boys like to wear dresses. Individual boys may have more specific reasons, however, and we should be open to hear them if they choose to tell us why wearing a dress makes them feel good. The boys in Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress, 10,000 Dresses, and My Princess Boy wear what some consider to be meant for girls. Their journeys are unique, but all roads lead to acceptance.

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress, by Christine Baldacchino

Morris Micklewhite (2)

Morris is a boy who loves the tangerine dress from the dress-up area at school. He likes the way is swishes. He likes the crinkling sound it makes when he sits down. He likes the clicking sound the accompanying fancy shoes make when he walks. The color of the dress reminds him of tigers and the color of his mother’s hair.

Morris has an imagination as big as the space safari he creates in his dreams, and sometimes he needs to use it to pretend he doesn’t hear the boys and girls at school making fun of him for wearing the tangerine dress. But eventually the teasing is too much for Morris and he stays home with a stomach ache. After a weekend at home surrounded by his mother’s love, his dress, and the other things that make him happy Morris finds the strength to go back to school.

Morris Micklewhite, Inside

When the boys at school see the fun Morris is having in his spaceship, they soon learn that adventure is fun no matter what you are wearing. Other kids see that imagination and personality are more important than clothes. The tangerine dress makes Morris happy, and his spirit shines through any shade thrown his way.

10,000 Dresses, by Marcus Ewert

10,000 Dresses (2)

Bailey is a boy who dreams about dresses. Bailey envisions dresses made of crystals, flowers, and windows. Bailey is also a boy who doesn’t feel like a boy. Bailey envisions herself as a girl. Each morning she wakes up to tell her mom, dad, and then brother about the amazing dresses she wears in her dreams. Each family member tells her not to mention dresses ever again. “You are a boy. Boys don’t wear dresses.” When Bailey tries to explain that she doesn’t feel like a boy, they disregard her.

Bailey eventually meets an older girl who needs help designing dresses. The two of them create new dresses from the 10,000 ideas found in Bailey’s dreams. The older girl not only accepts Bailey’s help, but she accepts Bailey.

While it is heartbreaking to read Bailey’s family members dismiss her excitement and attempts to explain how she is feeling, 10,000 Dresses reminds us that not all children find acceptance at home. It also reminds us that all kids—not just our own—need our support to nurture and protect who they are trying to become. We want Bailey, and other transgender children, to find optimism when dreaming up their equivalent of 10,000 dresses.

My Princess Boy, Cheryl Kilodavis

My Princess Boy (2)

My Princess Boy is a true story based on the unconditional love a mother and family give to a young boy who likes to wear frilly dresses and tiaras. The title of the book is the name her son gave himself at his birthday party. He wore a dress, jewelry, waved a wand and called himself a Princess Boy.

Princess Boy is four years old and has yet to learn too much about the negativity that the world can offer him. So he climbs trees in his crown, he chooses pretty things at the store, and twirls like a ballerina without hesitation. But every now and then someone laughs or tells him boys shouldn’t wear dresses.

That is when you can feel the author’s fierce determination and love for her child take over. She wills confidence to stay in her Princess Boy and urges us to love him for who he is. The book also feels like a reminder to herself and other parents that our children need us. They need us to support them and encourage them to be their true selves, even when someone disagrees or doesn’t understand.My Princess Boy, Inside

Maybe I am noticing the shift in opinions on this topic because I am looking for a positive swing of attitudes and finding real life stories about Bailey, Morris, and Princess Boy. Maybe the acceptance has always been there but people are now more confident and courageous to voice their support in the face of those not accepting of diversity and gender nonconformity. Maybe I am just hopeful that our society is becoming a safer and better place for our kids to wear and be whatever makes them feel happy and whole.

The post Three Children’s Books About Boys Who Wear Dresses appeared first on The Next Family.

Amber Leventry
Amber Leventry


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Parenting

Modern Fitness For the Modern Parent

by The Next Family March 25, 2016


Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian

By Laura King

Life can get busy. With work, kids, family commitments, friends, chores, and the general chaos of everyday life, it can be near impossible at times to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone squeeze in an hour of exercise regularly. However, all things are possible if you set your mind to them. Those that prioritize their fitness nearly...

Continue Reading →

Estate Planning: The Basics For LGBT Families

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

With the passage of marriage equality last year, laws have been quickly changing across the United States. LGBT couples with or without children weren’t just given the right of marriage, they were provided new protections and benefits within their families. All of a sudden, LGBT couples and families had to figure out how to file jointly when it came to taxes, how to add...

Continue Reading →

Representation of Modern Families in Kid-Friendly Entertainment

by The Next Family March 24, 2016 1 Comment


By Alex Temblador

I recently wrote an article for The Next Family called, “Family-Friendly Films That Feature Adoption and Foster Care,” that shared wonderful family films with adoption or foster care story lines. My reasoning behind doing so was because every family deserves a chance to see similar families like theirs represented in various forms of entertainment.

The same can be said of other...

Continue Reading →