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Single Dad Upsets Son By Refusing To Let Him Wear A Dress To School So He Doesn’t Get Bullied

Photo by Ben White/Unsplash

Kids are embracing their fashion earlier these days.

One of the main things is breaking down the gender barriers of fashion as a whole.

Anyone can wear anything.

Until they can’t.

Case in point…

Redditor _OmgItsJJ_ wanted to discuss his story for some feedback. So naturally he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for not wanting my son to wear a dress to school?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I live in Arlington Texas.”

“I (35 M[ale]) am a single father and have been relatively supportive of my sons creativity.”

“I think it’s important for children to be creative so they find their true passion in life.”

“My son (12 M) is really into fashion and I’m sure he’ll do wonderful things in the fashion industry.”

“He explains a lot of new concepts to me like gender spectrum and other new things that someone like me wouldn’t know.”

“He told me that he wanted to appeal to the female gaze and the male gaze.”

“So he wanted me to get him suits, dresses, makeup, etc.”

“And to be honest I don’t mind him wearing woman’s clothing, but today when he was getting ready for school I saw him putting on one of his sundresses.”

“I thought he was just trying out different outfits at first, so I went down to get prepare some breakfast.”

“When he came down I saw him still wearing the dress, but this time he had his backpack on.”

“So I asked if he was wearing it to school.”

“He said yes, I told him he couldn’t and that he’d be bullied if he did.”

“I’ll spare you the details of the argument that we had, but he eventually took it off and wore boys clothing.”

“He was very upset at me though and cried during his ride to school.”

“I want him to be happy and secure with who he is.”

“But I also know how cruel kids can be.”

“I don’t want him to experience that type of treatment from his peers.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors declared our OP WAS the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“YTA. If he is crying because you won’t let him wear the clothes he wants, he truly and genuinely wants to wear it.”

“He’s not afraid of getting ‘bullied.'”

“And who’s to say he will get bullied?”

“Children are more accepting of these things than you would think.”

“For argument’s sake, let’s say he does get bullied.”

“Then be there for him and help him break down those walls in society.”

“He sounds like an awesome kiddo.”

“I would apologize to him when he gets home from school, and let him wear the dress tomorrow.”

“You got this dad.” ~ CompetitiveStick6239

“It used to be a dress code violation for boys to wear makeup, jewelry, or ‘girls’ clothing to school.”

“At least in the area of Texas we lived in.”

“So, this could be a thing for OP’s son as well… it’s hard to cry YTA or NTA without having all the pertinent info.”

“Seems like he loves his boy and just doesn’t want him to suffer being bullied and possibly (cuz, school rules are not great) suspended or even expelled for defending himself (even verbally) from a potential bully.”  ~ HDAutrey75

“Kids are getting a lot more accepting.”

“My son is in middle school and I’m a high school teacher.”

“Both have a pretty large group of kids who mix and match masculine and feminine clothes, including boys wearing skirts.”

“I’m sure there is some bullying but there’s also a vocal group of kids who come to their defense.”

“The person most likely to understand the bullying situation at the school is the kid who attends it.”

“He’s not stupid, he knows what his peers are like.”  ~ Spallanzani333

“This is Arlington, Texas. It is in Tarrant County.”

“It has voted Republican in every single election since 1964, and voted Biden 49.31%.”

“Every single judge on their county courts are Republicans, and they have 3 Democrat Justices of the Peace.”

“Their County Judge (the executive) is elected county-wide and is a Republican.”

“The commissioners are split 2/2 between the parties.”

“Arlington has had Republican Mayors since 2003.”

“This is a Republican county with blue pockets and NTA to the father.”

“It is absolutely better to play it safe.”

“He should absolutely explain that to the kid.”  ~ oath2order

Of course some Redditors saw some gray area…

“OP stated he lives in the state of Texas.”

“Right now Texas is fully pressing charges and going after transgender and likely cross dressing kids.’

“Teachers, doctors, etc. are forced to report to local authorities who these kids are.”

“I think it’s about the father not wanting the cops knocking on his door, CPS possibly involved, getting into a lawsuit opened by the state because of the Governors new homophobic, transphobic laws.”

“Read the news.”

“Families with these types of kids there are finding themselves in real legal trouble and facing court to keep their kids.”

“It’s absolutely awful there if you’re this type of kid (aka, likes to wear dresses).”

“The legal sub of Reddit is already seeing more posts about this sort of thing by the kids and parents who live in TX.” 

“NTA. You live in the state of Texas.”

“I get that right now Texas is fully pressing charges and going after transgender (and likely cross dressing kids).”

“Teachers, doctors, etc. are forced to report to local authorities who these kids are.”

“People on this sub have no idea the danger states like TX are putting your kid in.”

“I know because I live next door in New Mexico and I watch in horror the news and the cases that are going up against transsexual kids.”

“While your kid may not be transsexual, showing up in a dress to school can definitely get you reported by the teacher and an investigator assigned.”

“OP, you need to talk to your kid about the seriousness of being put in foster care if he wears dresses outside of your home.”

“You can let him be who he is in the home, but once that little boy walks out those doors to school, he NEEDS to wear boy clothes because of the new laws in that state.”

“Have that conversation with him.”

“Don’t just let and watch him cry all the way to school.”

“Also, please post to r/legaladvice to get an idea of what legal recourses you have, in the event you are reported in TX.”

“Best to know now and be prepared.”

“That sub is already seeing more posts about this sort of thing by the kids and parents who live in Texas.”

“A note about Texas: Sorry to say but the state of Texas is truly a scary place to live right now.”

“A woman can’t make decisions about her own body (woman charged with murder for trying to abort on her own).”

“Now kids are being investigated at the first sign of being different than a straight male or female.”

“And your governors Xenophobic search laws has cost your state the loss of a $4.5 BILLION contract as Mexico is pulling its port of entry contract from Texas.”

“Because of your governor’s ridiculous extra search laws (truckers waiting 3 days to get in, while the food in the trucks spoils) and now is in talks with our governor to use our state for entry on food and items.”

“Yet the racist, homophobic, Xenophobic, angry, gun touting, Jesus praising backward clans of Texas will vote for him again soon. Insane.”  ~ Lady_Purrsia

“Yeah, if OP were anywhere else (well, maybe other than FL, ID, or OK) this would be Y-T-A.”

“I think youth attitudes are really changing for the better right now when it comes to gender expression, and in non-bats**t states.”

“Any bullying by peers or inappropriate comments by teachers should be something that OP can fight out with administration to make sure his son can appropriately exercise his right to free expression at school.”

“At 12, I think OP’s son is old enough to understand that his gender expression needs to be moderated for his physical safety.”

“If there are discreet ways that OP can support his son’s genderfluid fashion.”

“Wearing low-key makeup or nail polish or fun socks to school, for example—without getting CPS called, then that’s a compromise they can work out together.”

“But at 12, OP’s son is also old enough to know that foster care is not a safe place for trans, nb, and gnc teens.”

“This kid needs to know that his dad is on his side and that his safety and happiness is his dad’s first priority.”  ~ edgarallen-crow

Well OP… you have a lot to think about.

This is far from an easy situation.

We are in a new world, but progress is slow and sometimes backwards.

Hopefully you and your son can strike a balance to make everyone happy.