Violet asks: I am a 12 year old boy. Is it normal I like to wear girl clothes? I like to wear girl things but I don’t know why. I wear my sister’s clothes. My sister is 8 years old. I wear her dresses and her underwear. No one knows I wear them but I feel bad about it. I sometimes wish I was a girl.
Hi Violet –
I’m glad you wrote me, because I have a very different take on this than most humans.
You see, Violet, as a dog, I don’t care about anything in terms of the roles of boys and girls. For example, most female dogs squat whenever they pee, but ever since I was old enough, I’ve often lifted my leg to do it. And no one’s ever cared.
Similarly, I don’t care a bit about clothes, except to say that I always find it really irritating when Handsome makes me wear any (you humans seem to just find it SOOOOO funny to see a dog in a hat or shirt. And you’re supposed to be the intelligent ones?!)
Now, you asked me something very specific. You asked me if it’s “normal” for a boy to want to wear girls’ clothes. Well, if “normal” means that most people do it, then no, it’s not. Nor is it normal for girl dogs to lift their legs to pee, or for a person to become a big movie star or sports legend. But the much more important issue is, is it okay?
And I’ll be honest, different people feel very differently about this. But I can tell you that it’s TOTALLY okay with me.
The biggest danger I imagine is you getting caught. If you never got caught, it’s clear you’d never hurt anyone by doing this, and it wouldn’t matter at all. But if you do get caught, you might get very embarrassed. Your sister also might be upset to find out that you were putting on her stuff, especially her more intimate things.
So, scary as this might sound, I think the biggest question we’re facing is not whether it’s okay with a friendly supportive dog, but if it’s okay with your family. Do you have a parent or caretaker you feel safe bringing this up to? Because if you can, that’s the best way to make things safe. Imagine if, say, your mom was willing to buy you a few items of girls’ clothing that you could keep for yourself and put on when you liked. Then there’d be no danger of your sister being upset, and you could protect yourself by only dressing in them when you knew you’d be alone.
Now a lot of people, when they hear about you liking doing this, will start making assumptions about you. Especially about your sexual orientation. I’m not making any. There are men who like dressing in women’s clothes occasionally who are attracted to women, there are those who like it who are attracted to men, there are those who liked dressing in feminine clothing for a period of their lives and then never had any desire to again… and there are those who only feel right if they always dress in women’s clothing and even change their identity; these people feel very deep that they are women, and were just born into the wrong body type.
But you’re twelve. And I want you to have the most freedom you can to figure out who you are. And right now, the only thing I know about you is that you like putting these clothes on.
So my one giant wish for you now is that you stay safe. That you choose very carefully who you let know about this, and that you allow yourself as much time as you need to figure out how big a part of your life this will be.
And whatever that is, just know, no matter who tells you it’s wrong, you’re far from the first to do this, and there are others out there who feel the same urges as you. And there are millions more, like me, who will like and value you as you are, no matter what.
So my advice, and my wish, is just to please stay safe, while you do everything you can to be yourself.
All my best,