As soon as my son Basile was born, everyone was surprised by his long “girly” eyelashes …
At daycare when he was only 2 years old, he loved dressing up like a girl. The more that it sparkled, the more he wanted to wear it! I would hear things like “Here comes Basilette!” or “It’s normal that he wants to dress up like a girl; he has two older sisters,” as if his behavior needed to be justified at any price.
Today Basile is 8 years old: he’s a little boy who only plays with dolls. He loves dressing up like a girl, wearing high heels, putting on make-up, but he’s also passionate about roller-skating and riding his bike. . . He takes ballet class and wants to be a famous dancer or a famous fashion designer when he grows up. He dreams of becoming like Jean-Paul Gaultier, who he adores. He draws a lot, and he loves to make clothes for his dolls.
Yes, but . . . when he celebrates his birthday and invites all of his friends to the house, he hides all of his dolls in our bedroom and takes out some cars with which he never actually plays in his bedroom. He tells me it’s simpler this way. I must tell you that when he was in first grade, he had a very bad experience. He invited a good friend, a little girl, over for a sleep over. The next day at school, she told everyone in his class that he played with dolls. Because of this, he was mocked, teased and picked on incessantly until the end of the year. It was very painful for him. So he decided to do things more simply: for his birthday with his friends, he receives gifts “for boys” with which he will never play, and it’s no big deal. At Christmas time, he certainly does not ask his uncle for any dolls or he will suffer a thorough mocking; this year he said he wanted books. He will only play “dress up like a girl” with our immediate family. “It’s simpler like this, Mom,” he tells me each time.
The other day he asked his sister why he was different from everyone else. This question hurt his sister very much . . . Are we really so different in our society because of the types of toys we play with? Basile doesn’t like soccer or fighting, so no one wants to play with him at recess except for the girls. He’s often excluded and eats alone at the cafeteria for lunch.
But these little things teach him a lot: he is a feminist (that’s what he says). “All little boys should have the right to put on make-up without being harassed and made fun of.” That’s what he tells me. “Yes, I play with “girls’ toys,” but no I don’t want to be a girl. I just want to be myself,” says Basile.
Christine is an entrepreneur and President of an association in France. She’s married to her super hero and is a mother to two girls (13 and 14 years old) and one 8 year old boy. They live in the 20th district of Paris with two cats and two rabbits. Their favorite moment of the day: in the evening at the dinner table when everyone can tell what happened during their day.