Is my 3 year-old gay? Transgender? Going through a phase???



This is a guest post written by Sandra I.



I’m not one to worry too much about gender identity when it comes to my kids. When my oldest was 14 months old I was about to have my second child so I bought him a doll. Yes…the doll was wearing blue, but that was primarily because I was having another boy. I wanted my son to have his own baby to take care of while I was taking care of my new baby. And when I became pregnant with my daughter I bought my younger son a baby doll in pink because I was having a girl. Also because at 2 ½ I already knew he would prefer the pink one.

My mother thinks its her influence. She’s always told the kids that pink is her favorite color and she’s worried my son is imitating her. But he’s pretty strong-willed and I doubt he’d be swayed regarding his preferences. In fact he insists that my favorite color is purple even thought I tell him its blue! When he was 2 and in his toddler class his teacher told me that he was so obsessed with this one pink purse that she would have to let him hold it when she changed his diaper. Then by the middle of the school year she had to put it away altogether because he became possessive and wasn’t sharing with his friends. Oh my! Honestly I was more concerned with his sharing skills than the fact that it was a pink purse….or well, a purse at all! I offered him one of mine to play with at home but it was rejected because it was black. Pink just isn’t my color (unfortunately for my son).


Now that he’s 3 years old and my daughter is almost 1 he’s had plenty of opportunity to pillage and take over most of her toys. She doesn’t care much. She’s more interested in the action figures lying around and (of course) my cell phone, remote for the TV, baby monitor and a plethora of other non-toy items around the house. And when I’m not looking I find my son wearing her tulle skirt from Christmas, her headbands, my perfume, my make-up, and pretty much anything else that’s meant for girls/women. Just last night my boys only had about 1/2 hour to watch TV before bedtime but they couldn’t agree on what to watch. So, instead of compromising my older son watched The Avengers cartoon in the den and the younger was tucked into my bed watching Sofia the First in my room.

As I mentioned earlier I’m not terribly concerned. When he’s not driving me crazy or fighting with his brother he’s a happy little boy. He’s very funny, charming, and super affectionate which I just love to pieces.

Does anyone else have a 3-year-old exploring things meant to interest the opposite gender?

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  1. Jessica says:

    When we are pregnant we say we just want happy and healthy babies. We don’t say we hope they are healthy and wear gender specific clothing and colors! I love your attitude regarding the little man loving pink. Is it a sign of things to come? Maybe, maybe not. Most likely not. But if it is, I believe, you couldn’t change it anyway. Replace the purse with a truck all you want, it won’t change his preference. By letting him choose the toys or tv shows he wants you are showing him that you love and accept him the way he is and, in the end, he will be happy and healthy because of it. And isn’t that exactly what we wished for in the first place? Good job, mama!

  2. christine jessamine says:

    he will turn out just fine, just like you say as long as he is healthy and happy that is the most important thing. I think as boys get older they start to realize certain things that will help them along their boyhood paths. My little brother as a young kid loved watching Cinderella ( we still make fun of him) my step son is extremely… feminine in certain aspects but a lot of that contributes to women role models in his life, and a lot of them. it may just be a phase you will miss when its gone.

  3. I can’t even remember if my daughter was into anything typically marketed towards boys when she was that age. She always had boy cousins around and played with their toys and they played with her toys, so I never really thought about it.

  4. I’m not sure how to comment.. my daughter is still an infant.. but this wouldn’t bother me.. however I don’t think it matter this young

  5. I let my daughters play with boy toys and if I had a son, I wouldn’t care if he played with girl toys. I think too much emphasis is put on gender.

  6. I wouldn’t be concerned at all. My 9 year old is all boy, rough and tumble and dirty, but he like hello kitty and disney princesses too. It is likely just a phase, but even if it’s not, you have many years before you would have to really ask yourself that question.

  7. I wouldn’t be concerned at all. My boys have all played with dolls at some point or the other.

  8. I wouldn’t think about it too much at all. we buy our daughters “boy” toys all the time

  9. I don’t think it means anything at all. I do think that you not making it an issue is more important at this point.

  10. I have a 4 year old that like pink stuff, but that is because he has 3 sisters and I think he likes to get things that he would know they like.

  11. I am sure you will love him the same if he was any of the above.

  12. your last paragraph says it all. What are you worried about? He sounds perfectly normal and happy and healthy is all a mother can honestly be grateful for. If Pink is his favorite color then let him wear pink. I think it was the white sox who had a slogan Real men wear Pink 😉

  13. Do what works for your family.

  14. Yes, my oldest loved dolls and pink, and he’s a heterosexual 20 year old. They’re just colours and toys, and those things don’t determine gender 😉

  15. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    As a long time preschool teacher, I can tell you that, left to themselves with no steering towards a particular gender-marketed set of toys, most kids will play with most toys at some time or another. As for whether men like pink–take a look at the golf-wear section or the ties section of the men’s stores–plenty of pink. My son wore a pink tie to one of the ceremonies associated with his medical school, a ceremony he attended with his wife and two daughters. *shrug* He looked pretty damned fine!
    As for whether your son is LGBT—*shrug again*–I look forward to a day when those kinds of issues are simply handled in whatever way they need to be and everyone is left to find contentment in this short life.

  16. michelle colon says:

    I have a three year old daughter and she loves playing with all of her brothers things! But i think it’s just because they are her brothers! I wouldn’t worry about the purse or the dolls! My son who is 10 likes putting on my shoes but I think it’s just because he think’s its funny! On the daughter doesn’t like that show.

  17. Kerry G. says:

    It’s completely normal, a part of a child’s exploration. I have two boys, ages 5 and 16 months. When my oldest was younger he loved dressing up in dresses and play shoes, now he has outgrown it, but my 16 month old is just getting into it and loves walking around the house in his sister’s dress shoes and will quite often bring me a dress or her clothes for me to put on him. My daughter is 3 and for a long time preferred trains and cars to any of her girly toys. None of it bothers me because no matter what I love my children.

  18. Christina says:

    My 2 oldest are 12 months apart, my daughter is now 9 and my son is now 8. When they were younger, my son always played with my daughters toys – yes including dress up, heels, baby dolls, etc. Because his sister would take a purse when we went out, he’d want to take a purse too (usually filled with matchbox cars). Even now at 8, his favorite colors are pink and purple. I’m not concerned, nor do I think any of these behaviors are abnormal for children. I just let my kids be kids as long as they are happy, safe and having fun. Our now 3 year old has always loved cars, trucks and trains. To us toys and colors don’t have a specific gender.

  19. My daughter loves girly clothes, but as far as toys… she picks rubber snakes and dinosaur figures, over dolls and other typical girl toys everytime.

  20. It’s completely normal! Most children go through their phases. My son loved pink for awhile, but now it’s green ( he’s almost 7).

  21. I wouldn’t worry about it. I have a on and daughter and they play with each others toys all the time.