When Liam Hutt, 9, told his dad Will that he wanted to dress up as iconic Disney villain Cruella de Vil for Halloween, Will did what any good dad would do: He said that he would help. Every Halloween, Liam goes full-bore into generating his own costumes. “He takes part in designing and drawing them out,” Will told The Gaily Grind. “We encourage him to do what he wants. He’s a kid and Halloween is a great creative outlet.“ Liam has gone outside the gender normative box with his costuming; for the last several halloweens, he’s gone as a Black Swan, Cleopatra, and Medusa, before this year’s tour de force.
“It seems like he is more interested in the creative process and the eccentricity of the outfit rather than the dressing or impersonating a female, although if that was what he wanted to do I would still support him,” Will told The Gaily Grind. “It’s very typical for people to assume that because he has two dads, that we somehow guided him in this direction. That is simply not the case. We have had to discuss the fact that he may be met with adverse reactions when wearing this type of outfit to school on Halloween and even out on the evening trick-or-treating. Fortunately, he has a great school and very good friends that didn’t give him a hard time. I am not asking for applause or acceptance from other parents. I fully understand many probably have an issue with this, but I am perplexed by other parents criticism.“
Will’s Facebook post of his son’s outfit met with near-universal acclaim, save one sour response. The user, identified only as Rebecca, wrote: “I must say completely inappropriate, and I can’t believe a parent would ever do that to their child! Sorry if I offend you or your friends but I think it’s wrong!!!!“
Will responded perfectly: “We deal with this type of small minded person on a daily basis. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I will always support and encourage my kids creativity happily and without apology.“
“The most acceptable costumes for boys seem to usually have something to do with blood, gore, and killers,” Will told The Gaily Grind. “They find that more acceptable? I say live and let live. He’s 9. More kids should be allowed to explore their interests without fear.” We wholeheartedly agree. Although Cruella isn’t our choice of an entirely positive role model, boys can be girls and girls can be boys if that’s what they want to do. Halloween is a time to step out of your normal life and into another role. Changing identities and bending gender is a key aspect of Halloween for adults, and why should kids be any different? Will is a hero for staking out his son’s territory and refusing to back down. That’s great parenting, no doubt about it.