This is what Henry Hotdog feels I should wear when I take him to school.
He likes the feathers.
At least two mornings a week, while I stand draped in a towel flicking through clothes in my wardrobe, as if he’s never suggested it before, he’ll say “Why don’t you wear the feathers Mum? I think everyone would REALLY like it.”
Henry feels the feathers should be my “signature” piece on the daily school run. Can’t you just see me on the side of the basketball court? Or maybe sitting in the bleachers at swimming lessons. I could wear it while I loaded the groceries in to the back of the car after I’ve swished around the supermarket on a Tuesday morning.
From the moment Henry could walk, he found his way over to the dress up box and started putting things together. All four of the travelers have been big fans of the dress up box. Everyone, at some stage has donned a tutu. They’ve been Wiggles, cats, princesses, builders, and Masterchefs. Henry’s favourite for a long time was the rainbow fairy dress. I love that dress. I bought it for the first little traveler in Perth at the fairy shop in Freemantle. Watching the fourth little traveler wear it in the snow in Canada six years later, always made me a little melancholy. That dress had been a constant, packed in every suitcase, and when everything else seemed to be changing, the dress was still there.
For roughly two years Henry wore the dress constantly, which seemed to bring two types of reactions from friends and family. People either scooped him up and told him he looked fantastic or tried desperately to look like they were okay with it while they were obviously struggling. I had all sorts of hideous comments from “Do you think he’s gay?” to “Geez, I hope he grows out of it”.
Do you think he’s gay? Is not a cool question for anyone. Not a 5 year old, a 15 year old or a 50 year old, because no matter what, it’s really irrelevant. In a world where we struggle with the sexualization of children. Why would be discussing a child’s sexuality?
Do you think he’s gay? Pollutes a conversation with undertones and stereotypes. Bad stereotypes, old stereotypes.