A mother has revealed that she is raising her 4-year-old son to use gender-neutral pronouns and encouraging him to wear dresses to school in a bid to teach him about inclusivity.
The mum admitted though that he gets picked on by his peers at school because of his clothing and long hair.
Educational worker Lorenza Bruno, 30, from Florida, gave birth to her son LJ in 2016 with her partner Louis, 29. The mum said her number one goal as a mum was to raise a good human who would be open, loving, and accepting of everyone.
From a young age, she encouraged LJ to express himself freely whilst ensuring she would raise a son who was kind and gentle, as well as someone who could recognize their role to create a safe and equal society for women, all cultures, and himself, DailyMail reports.
In a bid to teach her son to break gender stereotypes, Lorenza would read books to LJ that showcased different families, encouraged embracing feelings and featured both male and female characters, who were able to be who they wanted to be.
She also spoke to him using inclusive language such as “firefighter” instead of “fireman” as a way to educate his mind on the diverse world around him.
Lorenza said her son first asked to wear a dress after watching the Disney film Frozen. She said this is when the conversation started around gender stereotypes and clothing.
LJ wanted a dress just like the character Elsa’s and as they saw the dress regularly at Target, Lorenza added it to their shopping list for the future. But she says she couldn’t wait until her son’s birthday or Christmas, so decided to buy the dress and was ecstatic when LJ twirled around in amazement and went on to wear the dress daily.
As Lorenza wanted LJ to be able to stand up for himself and others when he felt the need to, she encouraged him to begin wearing whatever he wanted to school, which included dresses.
Despite being told by his fellow classmates that he “needs a haircut” due to his long hair and that “dresses are for girls”, Lorenza says that LJ is confident in the face of his peers.
Lorenza hopes to see the day where children are allowed to be whoever they want to be without being judged and believes that kids would have many more interests if society gave them the opportunity to live freely.
The mother-of-two is now writing a children’s book surrounding gender stereotypes, with the aim of spreading the message that it’s okay to have interests on both sides of the “gender norm” spectrum, which she has written with LJ in mind.