If You Don’t Let Your Kid Pick Their Own Costume, You’re A Monster

By: C.J. (age 11)

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays because I get to dress up however I want and go walking around outside and nobody judges me. I love it when nobody judges me.

I always pick a costume that people think of as a “girls costume.” But, there’s no such thing as “girls costumes” and “boys costumes,” there are just “costumes.” Costumes are for everyone. Especially on Halloween.

Getting dressed up for Halloween is also fun because if I see someone from school, they don’t know it’s me. They think it’s just some other random kid. Halloween makes me feel like I’m under cover. But really, I’m showing everyone who I truly am, because I’m dressed like a girl. So I’m out of cover, but also under cover. That’s weird if you think about it for a really long time.

The first Halloween I remember was when I dressed up as Frankie Stein from Monster High. I even wore the entire costume, including the wig and dress, to school. That’s when things were different. That was in kindergarten, when we all saw how we were the same, not how we were different.

On Halloween, when I was little and got to wear girls clothes and be a girl out of the house, in some ways it didn’t feel that different because I always wore dresses around my house. But, it still made me very happy to wear them outside the house. It felt like an adventure.

I loved running around and seeing my wig fly and watching my shadowy figure skip and hop around in the glow of the yellow street lights. I would run the length of the street, instead of just running around inside my house. I was running. I was free. I felt like I could run for miles. There were no limits. I felt like even if a monster was chasing me, I would still run and dance and skip because I was being my 100-percent self out in the world for everyone to see.

It makes me really sad to think that for some kids, Halloween night is the only night when they feel like they can open up a little bit and dress up how they identify or how they want to express their self.

Just thinking about it makes me feel claustrophobic.

The idea that you have to stay in a blue box and outfit if you’re a boy and a pink box and outfit if you’re a girl isn’t right. I can only imagine what it feels like to only have one night a year, only Halloween, to feel like you can be who you want to be. That must feel terrible and scary. It’s especially scary feeling like you can’t tell your parents or adults how you really feel inside about who you are.

It doesn’t matter if your daughter wants to dress up as superhero or your son wants to dress up as a princess, you always need to let them be who they want to be. When a girl dresses up like a superhero, she is showing how strong she can be. When a boy dresses up like a princess, he is showing how graceful he can be. No mater how your kids identify, they are just trying to be their one true self. They are trying to be strong and happy.

You can’t follow the made up rules that say that girls have to have certain costumes and boys have to have certain costumes. If you force your child to go by society’s made up rules of how boys and girls can dress – especially if you do it on Halloween night – you are being a monster. You are being a villain. You need to let your child be who they want to be. If you let your child be who they want to be, you will be the hero for the night. They will feel like the kings and queens they were meant to be. They will feel royal.

This year for Halloween, my costume is kind of mind-blowing because it’s a double costume. I am going to dress up as my drag character, Pinky Punch, dressed up for Halloween as a Sephora cast member.

On Halloween night, when all the kids are out trick-or-treating in the dark night, I will be at my favorite store of all time, Sephora. I don’t care if I will be able to trick-or-treat and get a bunch of candy. All I care about is being with the people I like most – my family and the Sephora cast members.

Part of the reason why I wanted Pinky Punch to dress up like a Sephora cast member is because Sephora cast members represent seeing the beauty in everyone, wanting to be helpful, including everyone and they taught me that “fearless is the new flawless.”

My parents are very excited to see me passing out candy and product samples at Sephora on Halloween night. I will also be helping people find their ideal foundation shade and their favorite beauty products.

It makes me feel so happy and loved that my parents are so supportive of me. It really makes me feel like I belong. It makes me feel like I definitely got the right family. I won the lottery in the family department.

Go have fun on Halloween and don’t let the Boogeyman, Slender Man or any other anonymous monsters get you. Also, look out for Pinky Punch, she can get crazy when she gets too much candy.

About raisingmyrainbow

RaisingMyRainbow.com is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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29 Responses to If You Don’t Let Your Kid Pick Their Own Costume, You’re A Monster

  1. Larry Sarchin says:

    You do you. You are a great kid no matter whether you wear pants or a dress. Leave the haters behind and keep on being your smart, talented self.

  2. As progressive-minded people, we want our daughters to feel as comfortable riding bicycles as our sons confidently embrace each other and cry without inhibitions when desperate.
    Our own traditional barriers are just as much a barrier to freedom as our children, as is the simple reversal of the familiar concept of how girls or boys in general are. Play with the thought patterns and turn them upside down! Try yourself, test and experience limits only when your own actions can harm yourself or others. That would do us adults very well! Halloween is the best playground for it.

  3. Pingback: Loud and Proud: 13 LGBTQ+ Blogs You Need to Start Following this Pride Month | Beyond Bylines

  4. Pingback: Drag Kids – The Spaces In Between

  5. Katie says:

    Post pictures!!!! Have a great night and sparkle on

  6. THE LAST FLYER says:

    CJ – You are a young Earnest Hemingway.. I love your story. Beautifully written. Uncomplicated. Straight forward and to the point.
    “BRAVO ZULU” (well done) 🙂

  7. Lance says:

    Happy Halloween, CJ and family!

  8. Emma says:

    Thank you, CJ. My son is in preschool and is dressing as Moana this Halloween. He is nervous to wear his Moana dress to school, but I’m hoping that no matter what happens, he will have fun. Your post is a good reminder of why we, his parents, should let him do this and help him feel free to express himself. xo

  9. cass says:

    Great post CJ! I hope we’ll get to see some pictures of Pinky Punch after your halloween adventure 🙂

  10. Tara says:

    Well done, CJ! I love your pics above… you are a beautiful being inside and out!

  11. Jodi says:

    Impressively eloquent for an 11-year-old.

  12. Donna says:

    Well said CJ!!!😀🌈

  13. Diana C Maag says:

    Congratulations CJ on your accomplishment! You’re a leader even though you’re still young. You have a lot of us pulling for you and others to be able to live your lives without any judgments by those too narrow minded to understand that we all thrive when we live our authentic selves. Good luck and BTW love your costume choices!

  14. Barbara Golden says:

    What a wise and beautifully written post. CJ you are awesome and an excellent writer! Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  15. Bennett Schneider says:

    This is very, very well written. It will encourage a lot of people. Thanks, CJ.

  16. Ed says:


  17. Ms. Robin says:

    I’m speechless. CJ, your writing skills are representative of your maturity and grace. Awe inspiring, really. Congratulations on winning the family lottery! You sure did.
    Hugs to you and your family!!

  18. Stacey says:

    When I saw the title of this post I thought it didn’t sound like Lori. Hello CJ! What a great post. Have a great Halloween!

  19. Bethany says:

    CJ, you are changing the world. You are a phenomenal force for good. Thank you for reminding those of us who are parents about what is most important. Also, your writing is sooooo good! I hope you write a book someday!

  20. You are SO right!!! I’ve had a daughter dress as Max from “Where the Wild Things Are” and a son dress as Cinderella. Everybody in this house always picked their own costumes. After all I picked mine when I was young!!!

  21. bobito says:

    Bravo, CJ! You have a wonderful philosophy about Halloween. And you’re right, when it comes to family, you won the lottery. I will remember “fearless is the new flawless” next time I’m feeling nervous or challenged. Thanks for that, and have an amazing Halloween.

  22. Wow. What a wise, thoughtful post from CJ.

  23. Dan Goldman says:

    CJ’s definitely inherited his mother’s gift for writing. What a beautifully well written piece. Happy Halloween!

  24. Alysha Marie says:

    I absolutely love this post!! My daughter has gotten teased for not picking “girl ” costumes. There were even a few not so nice comments from family, both to her face and behind her back. My husband and I stand up and defend her choices. She beats to her own drum and doesn’t always conform to societies idea of what a little girl should be, do, wear or like. Her costumes, once she could talk to choose for herself: ninja turtle, skeleton, ninja, witch, surgeon and this year she will be a killer clown. I love that our fourth is creative. I always look forward to seeing what she will come up with each year!

  25. Shari says:

    Love this!!! You surely did get the right family. To be blessed with the support of those around you is truly a gift. Enjoy your Halloween!! Keep being YOU!!

  26. D Besson says:

    You are such an inspiration, C.J.! You and your parents make me want to be a better mom and better person altogether. You make me have hope for the future!

  27. samatwitch says:

    CJ, you are not only a fantastic young man, but a great writer with heart and love. I look forward to reading more from you – perhaps a book of essays one day?

    Have a great Hallowe’en!

  28. Dan Woog says:

    CJ is one of the wisest people I know. Of any age.

  29. mdaniels4 says:

    Really thoughtful post. Happy halloween, everyone!

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