Roo Shattuck is just like any other little boy. He likes to play with trucks and jigsaw puzzles, he loves to eat plums. Sometimes, he also likes to wear tutus.
He’d never received anything more but well-intentioned questions about his outfits. Until vile comments from one “bad man” left him afraid to pull on his favourite skirt.
In a passionate Facebook post that’s been shared more than 48,000 times, Roo’s mother Jen Anderson Shattuck told of being approached by a man on her way to a local park, who rounded on three-and-a-half-year-old Roo.
“She shouldn’t keep doing this to you,” he said, according to Anderson Shattuck. “You’re a boy. She’s a bad mummy. It’s child abuse.”
Roo Shattuck. Image: Facebook.
The man then reportedly took photographs of the pair and threatened her, saying "now everyone will know".
"I called the police. They came, they took their report, they complimented the skirt," Anderson Shattuck wrote. "Still, my son does not feel safe today. He wants to know: 'Is the man coming back? The bad man? Is he going to shout more unkind things about my skirt? Is he going to take more pictures?'"
Anderson Shattuck admitted she couldn't honestly assure her boy that it would be the last time he would be confronted with such ignorance. But, she wrote, she could show him that angry strangers needn't change who he is.
"The world may not love my son for who he is, but I do. I was put on this earth to make sure he knows it.
"I will defend, shouting, his right to walk down the street in peace, wearing whatever items of clothing he wants to wear. I will show him, in whatever way I can, that I value the person he is, trust in his vision for himself, and support his choices - no matter what anybody else says, no matter who tries to stop him or how often."