My 6-year-old wants her room painted blue. Should I be worried that she might want to become a boy?

Kaitlin Martin

Kaitlin Martin

Répondu il y a 3w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 62 et de vues de réponses 62.4k

I'm a girl with a twin brother, and having grown up the way we did I've never understood the hype about gendered toys and colors, on either extreme of the spectrum.

Growing up, both my brother and I did some of the same stuff you’re worried about. Honestly, the average adult who buys into the “toys/color denote gender” craze probably would’ve been left in a state of confused panic after witnessing the sheer gendered chaos that was our daily childhood experience.

Today, my brother and I are - and always have been - quite secure and confident in our (born) genders.

Yet we have a picture of my brother at age four, playing with his legos while wearing my sparkly pink tiara, tutu, and feather boa (which I can only assume I generously lent him). My dad says he remembers telling him he looked very nice shortly before the picture was taken.

He and I would play dress-up quite frequently as young kids (much to his vehement denial as a teenager): I even remember fighting with him over who would get to wear a dress we both liked.

As a girl, I grew up loving the action cartoons and video games my brother enjoyed. I would have picked Star Wars or Pokemon or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles over a princess show or Barbie game any day. That said, we also had several princess/Barbie movies, which both of us enjoyed watching together from time to time.

My brother frequently joined me in playing with my Littlest Pet Shop dolls (all the rage for little girls at the time) and stuffed animals… and we would proceed to pit them against each other in epic high-stakes battles for freedom, glory, and great justice.

Sure, when we didn’t care or know enough to choose things for ourselves, our parents would usually default to giving me girly things and my brother boyish things, and we were fine with that. That’s 100% okay.

But, more importantly, my parents didn't panic when we started crossing, if not completely erasing, the boundaries of typical gender associations. If I asked for an action battle toy for Christmas, they didn't hem and haw and try to convince me to accept a Barbie doll instead, nor did they decide that I clearly couldn’t possibly be a little girl after all. They simply thanked me for not asking for a pony or something, and found the one I might like best, even if they never did learn how to say the name right.

I had a pink soft baby blanket, and a cherished stuffed Pikachu. I had an EZ Bake Oven, and my own copy of Pokemon Fire Red. I had a bin of Littlest Pet Shop dolls, and a bucket of Bakugan (little rolling/battle/card toys that were all the rage in elementary school).

And, as a matter of fact, my room was often painted blue (we moved a lot). I liked the color because it was pretty and reminded me of the sky, or perhaps of the ocean.

Today I am still in fact a girl, and feeling pretty good about it. Although I’m in a t-shirt and shorts most days because I spend a lot of time walking outdoors between college classes in 90+ degree heat, I love dressing myself up from time to time and rocking a nice blouse or sundress. I want to work with children for the rest of my life, and perhaps one day to get married and adopt kids of my own.

But I’m also a huge geek over some pretty masculine stuff. I love video games and action anime. I could spend hours talking about the story and animation and general coolness of a game or show I like.

I hate pedicures and cannot fathom why anyone would get one not only willingly, but as a form of feminine bonding and relaxation (how am I supposed to relax while this stranger keeps grabbing my feet???). And most days I skip the makeup - I’m single, nobody cares, plus I’ll probably sweat it all off in two minutes anyway, because Texas.

And those aspects of myself, along with my gender, are not in a paradox or conflict for me. They have nothing to do with each other aside from the stereotypes other people place on them.

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I can enjoy my life and be secure in my female identity, because my family taught me that my gender is not a restrictive device. I’m so thankful that my parents taught me that preferring Pokemon to Barbie doesn’t make me any less a girl. I’m also thankful that they taught me I can like both at once.

Growing up sharing my activities and interests with a boy twin, I learned that gender is not necessarily defined or expressed by hobbies or color schemes. Gender is something much harder to define, something far more intimate and personal and deeper at the core of someone’s being. I learned that gender is often expressed by a matter of “family resemblance” of generalized traits, but that not all or even d'optimiser of them have to be there for the gender to function.

Gender expression is flexible, and because of its flexibility it does not have to change every time my lifestyle or interests of the color of my bedroom walls do.

Please, teach your daughter the same thing. Let her be a girl who likes blue. Let her learn that her gender is not something to resent or reject over something that trivial, but is something that can simply be part of who she is without coming into conflict with every other thing she wants or likes.

She’ll thank you for it one day.

Amrisha Rai

Amrisha Rai, BA English(Honours) from Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Delhi University (2021)

Répondu il y a 3w

When I was little, even before I knew what it was all about growing up, I wanted to become a horse rider. I was four then and had just seen a person gracefully saddle a horse and I was mesmerized by the horse's thick mane. So much that I wanted one immediately! Brown became my favorite colour.. The horse, the cow, the apple, the trees , all were brown.

I grew up a little. Went to a marine museum. Got obsessed by the tiny red fishes who blinked their eyes at me. For weeks, I coloured my elephants red.

Another 5 years down the line, the teenage obsession with black started. Clothes, shoes, bookcovers, table lamps, all were in black. Didn't last much long,if you ask me.

Several more colours followed. Today, I can't really point out my favorite colour. I've had such a history with all of them.

Colours are just colours. Meant to make the world beautiful and interesting. No colour represents anything. No hidden innuendos. And even if we humans do turn colours into symbols, it should be upon an individual to decide what a colour stands for. So, let your daughter experience the humongous panorama of this vividly coloured world. Let her eyes soak up all the existing shades. Let her decide if she wants a blue room, or a pink one.

Jo Eberhardt

Jo Eberhardt, Mother of two

Répondu il y a 3w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 406 et de vues de réponses 5.2m

My youngest son decided before he turned two that he was going to be a rock star when he grew up. Five years later, he’s not only still committed to that dream, he’s taking singing, guitar, and drums lessons. (And doing very well, I might add.) His music teachers tell me he’s got all the swagger and attitude of a lead singer, to which I can only sigh and say, “I know. He was born with it.”

His favourite bands since he was a toddler have been Queen, KISS, Iron Maiden, Guns n Roses, and The White Stripes. (Because you’ve got mix it up a bit.)

Obviously, at the same time he declared that he wanted to be a rock star, he told me he needed long hair. He’s been growing it ever since. At one point, his golden locks reached halfway down his back. (We’ve trimmed it back to shoulder-length now.)

My 6-year-old wants her room painted blue. Should I be worried that she might want to become a boy?

Ready for his first stage performance.

My son is also into shiny things. (LOOK! SHINY!) He loves glitter, and sparkles, and his ideal bedroom decoration is a disco ball. Give him five minutes alone with craft supplies, and he’s glued glitter on every exposed piece of skin. When he was little, he was always tellement déçu that boys clothes were boring and plain, but the girls clothes were COVERED in sparkles.

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I’ll give you three guesses which clothes he wanted, and the first two don’t count.


Let me take you back to a particular day, in a particular place, three years ago. My son was four. We’d just dropped his big brother off at school, and the two of us went to have a coffee (or milkshake) and do the grocery shopping.

We walked into the shopping centre, hand-in-hand.

My son hadn’t tied his hair up, so it was long and flowing (and, I must admit, more than a little messy). He was wearing a rainbow-coloured tie-dye t-shirt, a pair of shorts, and sparkly pink runners on his feet. He’s never in his life managed to walk calmly for any length of time, so he was skipping beside me, singing a little song he’d made up about coffee and rainbows. I was smiling happily, completely in awe (as usual) of the way he lights up the world.

We passed a couple of ladies who were raising money for something just inside the doors, and one of them called out, “Would your little girl like a balloon?”

Without missing a beat, my son called out, “Yes, please. And I’m a boy.”

I hastily added, “Thank you, that’s really nice. Would it be okay if we picked up the balloon up after we do the shopping? I wouldn’t like it to get lost.”

“Sure,” the woman said, a smile plastered across her face.

“Okay! Bye!” my son said happily, going back to his song.

The woman nodded, and smiled at us both, and waved, and did all the things that people do when they’re in a customer service role and want everyone to know how friendly they are.

And then, as soon as this woman had decided we were far enough away (we clearly weren’t), she turned to her colleague and said, “Well. Elle clearly wished she’d had a girl.”


My son’s choice of long hair and sparkly shoes didn’t make him any less of a boy.

If he was actually a girl born into a male body, denying him long hair and sparkly shoes wouldn’t have made him into a boy.

The colour of your daughter’s bedroom has exactly as much impact on her gender as the colour of her eyes, the last meal she ate, and the number of times in her life she’s sneezed.

Possibly less.

Wouter Janssens

Wouter Janssens, Electronics Engineer, teacher, strawbale builder

Répondu il y a 3w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 111 et de vues de réponses 145.3k

Story time.

My youngest daughter was 4, passing through the phase of wearing pink and princess clothing, playing dolls, anything girly a little girl would do. I loved it, as a father, I have two older boys but having a daughter is special.

At a certain day she came to my wife, saying she didn’t want all the dresses and dolls anymore.
She wanted to be a boy.
How do you handle this, as a parent… I never expected such a thing to happen, First you go through some denial, but her statement was sincere, since she wanted to put pants on, and T-shirts. She played with legos and climbed trees. I thought it would pass.
It didn’t pass. Very careful talking about it, when she grew to five and six years, learned us about how she felt more like a boy than a girl. Out went the dresses and dolls. in came toy cars.
You start reading about transgender, you search for help and information. We found very good support at the University of Ghent (Belgium) who has a team specifically dealing with transgender kids.
We could always talk about it with her. The awkward moments were mostly when other people we met were confused of our little son actually being a girl.
At school she was accepted like she was, nobody really cared. Her friends knew she was a girl that wanted to be a boy, and did boy-ish things.

And she was happy.

There are thousands of situations where people got confused, like ‘I thought Hannah was a girl’s name?’ -’Oh but I am a girl. But later I will be a boy.’ (we didn’t change her name, on the advice of the gender team in Ghent)

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We adjusted. Talked about it. Sought solutions, even trivial ones like which public toilet she should use. Prepared for the future: would she go all the way to a sex change? About 10 to 20% of transgender children become transsexual. A greater part is gay/lesbian. She fell in love with classmates a few times in elementary school. All girls.

By the age of 11 she started changing again. She wanted her hair to grow longer (before it was really short) and I was chocked (internally) the day I came to breakfast and she was sitting there in a summer dress…
Seems the hormones of an onsetting puberty can do that.

She’s still happy, sometimes in shorts, sometimes in a dress.whatever she feels like. We’ll see. We’ll wait. And handle it carefully.

She will always be who she is, boy or girl. I don’t really mind.

Rob Williams

Rob Williams, Medical Mission Coordinator

Répondu il y a 3w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 58 et de vues de réponses 717.5k

For God’s sake, its just a color, paint the child’s room the color that will make her feel like it's her room. I think people are starting to put too much into this boy/girl thing. When I was growing up, I hated wearing dresses. When you are in a dress, you cannot play ball, or climb a tree. You are limited on how much playing you can do outside. I used to beg my grandmother to let me wear shorts to no avail. Now, I actually find events where I can dress up in fancy dresses…..I wear pants on weekdays and dresses on weekends! My not wanting to wear dresses when I was little, had nothing to do with my gender! I wanted to get down and dirty OUTSIDE with the other kids!

Paint the room, she’s a female, that room will be painted at least 3 more times. lol!!! The day she wants the entire room painted black with black curtains and bedspread with a picture of Hilter on the wall, then you worry!

Krister Sundelin

Krister Sundelin, UX Writer chez HiQ Göteborg (2011-present)

Répondu il y a 3w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 6.5k et de vues de réponses 9.5m

Q: My 6-year-old wants her room painted blue, should I be worried that she might want to become a boy?

A: Not that long ago – less than a hundred years – blue was considered a feminine passive colour, while pink was a masculine active colour.

The shift only happened at around the end of WW2, but the view seems to have only been firmly established in the 1980s or so. And now it is swinging back.

So if you’re stuck in the belief that pink is a girlish colour, you are more likely to have grown up in the 1980s or 1990s.

Incidentally, about the same time another shift happened: computers became firmly established as a masculine thing. Before that, computers were gender-neutral (and for the university-educated only); then with the home computer revolution in the 1980s, computers and software development became a boy thing.

So most likely, your girl is saying “daaad! or moooom! you’re so oooold!”.

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