Anything a girl can do, a boy can do, too. That’s the motto of project #ABoyCanToo, designed to celebrate boys who enjoy interests that are traditionally associated with girls. Canadian mom and photographer Kirsten McGoey, a mom of three boys who started the project, was inspired by her three boys, whom she is raising to be “gender-positive.”
Kirsten, who considers herself to be a “tomboy,” was moved by the newly popular gender equality movement, particularly the encouragement of young girls to break down traditional gender roles. Since she had only boys, she had a desire to bring the same conversations to the table for them. “Pink is not for girls and blue is not for boys, any more than dance is for girls and soccer is boys,” McGoey says.
She began with photographing her son, but word quickly spread throughout the community and she realized there were more boys who were also embracing what could be seen as their feminine side. The photos revealed there are boys who like girls’ hair accessories, figure skating, tap dancing, ballet, and have a flair for dramatic theater.
Kirsten photographed a boy named Cian who likes to play girl characters in plays and wear dresses. When she met the little boy, he was wearing a dress and pretended to faint dramatically. He proclaimed, “I am being Snow White after she bit the apple.”
Many parents are pushing the narrative that anything goes and it’s borderline child abuse. If children feel like they are a different gender than the one they were born with — and science can prove they are — then it’s ok to fully embrace those feelings. But parents have a responsibility to their child to advocate for the gender they were born with.
McGoey hopes her project will help young boys become mentors to other boys facing similar challenges and show them that it’s ok to be who they are. “If one boy finds the ability to be himself with pride because of this project we have met my goal,” she says.
What do you think about a boy embracing a non-traditional gender role? Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts.