My Son as Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods

“What are you going to be for Halloween?” one of my son’s male classmates asked him today.

I waited nervously to see what C.J. would say.

“A lawyer,” he replied.

I smiled. My son was spinning the truth. I’m in PR, I know good spin when I see it.

photo 1-7Yes, in very general terms my son will be trick-or-treating as a lawyer for Halloween. More specifically, he will be dressed as Reese Witherspoon’s lawyer character Elle Woods from the movie Legally Blonde.

There are three very important reasons why C.J. selected this costume:

3. He likes the movie.

2. He likes to wear long blonde wigs.

1. The costume came with a pink purse with a tiny plush Chihuahua inside. (This is the main reason.)

C.J. took several liberties with the Elle Woods costume we bought at the costume store. (BTW, the costume was 75 percent off because not many size-seven, second graders want to dress up as a character from a movie made six years before they were born.) C.J. added two necklaces, leggings, gloves, a tiara and, on occasion, a feather boa. We need to pick up a new pair of comfy ballet flats tomorrow. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, I know.

For the past four years, C.J. has worn a “girl’s costume” for Halloween. And, every year he has stressed out about telling certain people his costume choice. My son doesn’t want to be teased for the things he likes, clothes he wears, hobbies he enjoys, books he reads and costumes he chooses. He wants to like what he likes without people hating his decisions.

“C.J., what are you going to be for Halloween?” his teacher asked him last year in front of the entire class at the end of the day on Halloween.

I was volunteering in class and cringed in my seat in the back of the room.

“I haven’t decided yet…” he said part shy, part embarrassed, part annoyed.

“What?! You better decide! It’s Halloween!” she said.

This is his "serious attitude" face, he says.

This is his “serious attitude” face, he says. (He gives me this look several times a day.)

The other kids looked at him in disbelief. What kid doesn’t know what they’re going to dress up as just hours before ringing that first doorbell and scoring that first candy?

C.J. had decided….in July. He just didn’t want tell his peers and deal with their reactions. We’ve taught him that when it comes to his gender identity and expression, he doesn’t owe people an explanation if he doesn’t feel like giving one. He’s empowered to protect himself when he feels like he needs or wants to.

Evasion was his coping mechanism last year. This year he coped by giving one version of the truth, speaking in generalities and leaving out the details.

He looked at me after telling his classmate he’s going to be a lawyer and smiled. I smiled back at our little secret.

I’m sure everyone who thinks C.J. is going as a lawyer pictures him in a little suit and tie with a briefcase and, maybe, faux spectacles – not a pink velvet peplum skirt, white fishnet gloves, lap dog and crown. But, just as there are lots of versions of being a boy, there are lots of versions of being a lawyer.

All of those who like C.J.’s version of being a lawyer best say “Aye.”



About raisingmyrainbow is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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81 Responses to My Son as Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods

  1. campmom3 says:

    AYE! My son Will likes the same stuff. He was Cerise Hood from Ever After High this Halloween. Right now he is snuggling against me in a pink dress.
    the previous sentences were dictated by my Will. I just shared this post with him and the smile was huge.

  2. vannajay says:

    I wish that every parent could be as accepting as you, not only are you accepting your sons choices but suppourting his own decision making! He’ll be a very mature decision maker when he gets older! Good job momma!!!

  3. Fiona Chick says:

    A bit, fat AYE! What a bright, witty boy you have there. You must be incredibly proud. I just found your blog today and am happily now following on. Will look forward to reading on.

  4. somebombmom says:

    This is my first time seeing and reading your blog, as I just found it today. I am simply loving it. The world needs more parents like you. Thank you for this from the bottom of my heart.

  5. Mr David R Kasmier says:

    AYE…..CJ is wonderful….and you are one special mom….when I was his age I went through the same thing and boy was it hell….my parents were pretty cool about it, they thought I would outgrow it (which I did) but I didn’t appreciate the judgments from everyone else around me while I was trying to find my way. What I have found interesting over the years (I grew up in the Midwest in the late 1960’s- early 1970’s) is that many of the things I did when I was CJ’s age I was teased about (like playing dress up, playing with dolls and the girls in the children’s kitchen, etc.) is now considered by many to be perfectly normal in many circles…..and the very child psychologists that my parents sent me to at that age to try and “reverse” that behavior, are the same doctors who now say it is all a normal part of trying to find yourself and your identity…..Good for you and CJ, you are both truly awesome people. 🙂

  6. MC, B's Mom says:

    My son dressed as Queen Elsa for Halloween this year. He was so happy. He fist bumped all the girl Elsas he saw. Who wouldn’t want to be Elsa? She has the Icy Force! as he calls it.

    Thanks for this blog. I love knowing there are other families with gendercreative kiddos. I’m a teacher, and reading your blog also helps me be thoughtful and work extra hard to create safe space in my classroom for all kids.

  7. Amanda Amato says:

    AYE!!! CJ’S Costume is adorable. Very clever. This is one of my favorite movies !!

  8. I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award 🙂

  9. I am so happy I found your blog. I have been reading it nonstop, just entry after entry. My son is gender-variant and your stories remind me so much of him it is insane. Not even just in behavior and character but they are also both red-headed 7 year olds! I wrote a post a few months ago about my darling:

    It has been challenging since society in our midwestern state can be cruel and judgy and he often gets referred to as a girl but it has also been the most amazing journey. Emery has taught me so much, about acceptance, patience, and being your own person. I love him so much for that!

    I’m definitely going to check out your book. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences online. It helps to know we aren’t alone!

  10. Amanda says:

    Aye! You’ve got a very special kid and he has a pretty great mom 🙂

  11. yumisayama says:

    Lori, have you ever seen Little Games by Benny? It’s an amazing music video about breaking gender roles, and it was made by a 15 year old boy… I couldn’t believe when I saw it, it was really touching and, even more amazing, there’s little to no hate in the coments.

    If you want the link, here it is:

    I think you’ll really like it.

    Yumi Sayama

  12. AnnieO says:

    aye! my almost 6 year old who is in kindergarten went as elsa. full wig and all. there were many elsas in his school but none as original as he was! 90 kids total in the kindergarten classes and only 2 gave him a semi hard time. more like funny looks. the rest loved it. made me happy for him and them! i love how smart CJ’s answer was!

  13. ravinj says:

    Aye! Fab costume!

  14. Phyllis says:


  15. Not quite 40 says:

    AYE. He looks AMAZING!!

  16. ohanalog says:

    Aye! I have a son who has learned to speak similarly to CJ. His favorite color is light red, similar in shade to CJ’s Elle costume. I applaud our children for having the intellect to assess a situation and speak words that they feel others will accept. I am saddened that they have such a need to do so in the first place. Way to go CJ for staying true to yourself and using all of your gifts; intelligence, creativity, imagination, sensitivity, strength and courage. Great costume. Great character. And I think I may want to search out a cool purse to carry a cute pooch in, even after Halloween. (I had forgotten how much I loved that part… Usually I recall the fact that she was so pretty and even smarter than her looks.)

  17. Rachael says:

    Aye! He looks absolutely adorable!

  18. Pamela Baer says:


  19. My daughter went as her own creation of Count Ninjula (vampire ninjas are a thing, right?). I’ve gone from fighting for the right of a son to wear dresses to fighting for the right of my daughter to be into superheroes and fighters and other things of grotesque natural (to put it oh-so-mildly). She had originally wanted to be the “queen of broken hearts” and I think she lost her courage to be quite that out, sadly. Either way, I put on my brave face and carry on.

  20. Melissa says:

    Aye! My nearly 5 year old went as Maleficent this year, as he says “The Angelina Jolie one, not the classic Maleficent.” When Frozen came out he was determined to be Elsa, but once he heard of Maleficent, he decided to be her.

  21. Lizzy says:

    CJ’s response was brilliant. And it breaks my heart that in second grade he has already learned how to do this so well.

  22. Amy says:

    A great big AYE!!!!!!!!!!
    Happy Halloween!!

  23. Sharlene says:


  24. Silversun says:

    I’ve never seen the movie but the musical is awesome. Give the soundtrack a listen and if you thinks it’s appropriate, CJ might love it…

  25. rebeccaalene says:

    Aye! I love this. Thank goodness for good parents like you who let their kids be themselves.

  26. Megan Holt says:

    Aye! I love the movie too! I also got my 86-year old Nana hooked on the show too. =]

  27. Jannit says:

    My retired Army macho man hubby volunteered to dpn a tutu & go as your son’s legal secretary. Prejudice is personal & thus should be kept quiet. The best we can teach our children is to be themselves & be happy despite the unevolved haters. You rock as a Mom!

  28. Nicola says:

    AYE to the power of a gazillion!!!!!!!

  29. Anjalyn says:

    Aye. Have a great holiday!

  30. You go CJ! I love the costume!

  31. Debby Miller says:

    As an attorney myself, a hearty AYE! CJ looks happier than 98% of my colleagues and that’s as it should be! =D

    “My son doesn’t want to be teased for the things he likes, clothes he wears, hobbies he enjoys, books he reads and costumes he chooses. He wants to like what he likes without people hating his decisions.” It took me a long time to reach the point where you refuse to care what other people think about what you like, wear, etc. With supportive parents and the way the world is turning, CJ has a great foundation from which to reach that point sooner rather than later!

    Hmmm. Elle Wood. . . I haven’t dressed for the office yet. 😉


  32. Becca says:

    Aye! Best. Lawyer. Ever! Who would want to be drab when you can be fabulous??!!

  33. Kitty Catty says:

    Ooops, I forgot to say AYE!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Kitty Catty says:

    Meowza CJ, your Halloween costume rocks!! And it looks great on you too! Excellent choice!


  35. Nina says:

    Aye!!! I love Elle Woods and I love CJ! I admire how you are guiding him thru this journey. It is clear to everyone who reads this blog how much you love him and how much you would do to support him and at the same time try to protect him. Keep up the great work!!!!

  36. Jutta says:

    Your son is one lucky kid to have a loving and supportive parent like you.
    Aye Aye!

  37. foodradical says:

    Aye! CJ looks fantabulous! Great representation!

  38. Silvara says:

    That is such a cute costume, and it looks really good on him! Hope he gets lots of candy tonight, and no annoying people bothering him.

  39. Mark says:

    First time commenter here: I just came back from my daughter’s preschool Halloween party. I had been in the classroom many times before, but today was the first time I noticed they had a picture up of a male student dressed as Princess Anna, and not at all in a mocking way. It was absolutely wonderful to see.

    I wish every child could attend a school as good as this one in Maryland.

  40. Go go go CJ 🙂 Keep it up.

  41. Kelly Graham says:

    AYE, AYE and AYE!!!!!!!!!!!! I love that movie as well and if I could pull off the costume I would certainly try. good for him and I hope his halloween was as spactacular as he is(and his family). Also….I think he handles the situation terrific, quick on his feet and didn’t lie.

  42. sarahmanley680886752 says:


  43. Love this post Lori, and love you…you make me dream of what could have been, and then be determined to be what can be.

  44. Lpodos says:

    Aye! My son is going as Cleopatra – a powerful ruler with great hair!

  45. Jenny says:

    I found some awesome purple sparkly Liv and Maddie shoes at Payless for $12. I was so pumped because they went perfect with his purple ombre wig that goes with his Purple Monster High costume. I’m always looking for a deal because his costumes always cost so much more because we are always adding the wig (which by the way, this year I really wanted to wear myself)! Good luck shopping sister!! Have a very Happy Halloween!

  46. matthew says:

    Why didn’t I think of this costume?!?! Awesome idea CJ!

  47. perryjess says:

    He looks brilliant! Also one of my favourite films 🙂

  48. ckashaan says:

    Haha the kid got some quick thinking verbal diplomacy skills. The costume looks great btw. Gonna score all the candy!! :]

  49. Allyson says:

    Aye! I love his response and his costume! You have taught him very well! I hope he has a very amazing Halloween and gets lots of candy!!!

  50. Aye! Love it! Legally Blonde is one of my favorite movies!

  51. R says:

    What was his teacher thinking last year??? I’ll try to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume the question popped out before she realized what she had asked.

  52. Rikke says:

    Best lawyer i’ve seen 🙂

  53. mark says:

    Aye! But isn’t it just too weird that a little girl can dress up as the hulk or Clark lent if she wants to but a boy as Elle Woods or the wicked witch of the west has to deflect or do a spin on a costume? Hope he has a great time!!!!

    • Ziya Tamesis says:

      I agree, it isn’t fair. People should be able to just be people and dress however they want; kids especially should be able to dress up as whatever they want. No explanation, deflection, or spin necessary.

  54. Aye. What a cutie. My kid’s going as the 11th Doctor, except with a purple sequin tie instead of the bow tie because it’s more cool. If zie can find it that is. I don’t know how anyone could lose something that glittery but zie’s managed.

    • Denise says:

      Haha. My son is going as the 11th doctor too. Found a sequin bow tie at 99 cent store. His brother will be a dalek.

      With CJ! Elle Woods is fierce.

  55. Jen says:

    Aye! He sounds like an amazing kid.

  56. grannyK says:

    Great costume! Looking good!

  57. Cassida says:

    Aye! Coping mechanism are good, even though it sometimes hurts a mother’s heart. I remember my son telling a hairdresser that he wanted pokemon for christmas. Afterwards I asked him in surprise “oh, I didn’t know you wanted pokemon? What kind?”. He just looked at me and said “that’s not what I really want!”- That was just something he knew would be “appropriate for a boy at 5.He wanted a winx doll which he got;-)

  58. Robert Chionis says:

    AYE! and might I add, that was a very savvy answer – it is also a great costume choice for CJ, because Elle was pre-judged as intellectually inferior because of her “girlish” attitude and had to learn how to think fast and adapt in a non-supportive environment. Happy Halloween to you, CJ and the entire family.

  59. samatwitch says:

    Aye! He looks wonderful and just like Elle!

  60. Has he seen the musical yet. It’s on YouTube. I think he’ll love it.

  61. Please tell me CJ has seen Legally Blonde: the Musical. CJ deserves to have seen Legally Blonde: the Musical.


    OMG, OMG you guys.

  62. NotoriousDSG says:


  63. Kim says:

    My little guy is doing the same. He’s going to be a witch but keeps deflecting when people ask and doesn’t want to tell his new friends.
    He’s so smart to know when to protect himself. Isn’t it hard though, thinking how they have to learn these skills so young? He’s so fabulous and so are you. I hope Halloween is a ball for him!

  64. Mitchell Fain says:

    AYE!!! ❤️ ♥️ ❤️

  65. Tara says:

    Aye! He looks adorable. I bet the people he trick or treats will throw in a few extra for the effort! I saw bright pink flats at Target today, here in Canada. But Target should probably carry them there too. They would be perfect, they are hot pink with pink sequins on the vamp. I bought a pair for my little girl even though we have snow on the ground here.

  66. lisasretro says:

    I’m not an “Elle Woods” type of person and don’t really like pink, that was my sister… But that chihuahua in a bag is to die for. Will there be any bend and snap demos along the way? Love it!!

  67. Jenny says:

    Aye! I love Elle Woods

  68. Aye! This is such an awesome costume! He looks adorable!

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