Is it easier for privileged boys to wear dresses?

    The New York Times Magazine ran a fascinating/controversial piece this weekend on “gender-fluid” children titled “What’s Wrong With A Boy Who Wears A Dress.”

    Even more interesting is the continued debate sparked by the cover story. About sexuality and sexism, gender roles and, of course, liberal lunatics.

    One of the most thought-provoking responses comes from blogger Cecily Kellogg, of Uppercase Woman, who considered the privileged perspective of the piece.

    “It’s impossible to talk about this article without, once again, discussing privilege. Because parenting perspectives + The New York Times means only the perspective of the very few. Poor people don’t have the capacity to hire expensive therapists to tackle child gender issues, much less do things like hire someone to “train” your kid’s school’s staff to be more sensitive to a gender fluid child. “

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    It’s an especially poignant point when you consider the life and death of 17-year-old Wauynee Wallace, an openly gay Camden, N.J. teen who was killed last month.

    In Darran Simon’s Philadelphia Inquirer story, friends and family shared heartbreaking stories of how Wallace was treated as a gay teen. And it offers a stark view of what it can be like to be gay when you don’t have the money for expensive therapy or access to “gender-variant” camps.

    From Simon’s story: “People “make us feel like we’re literally a dog instead of a human,” said Heaven Filmore, 18, a close friend who lived near Wallace and who was with him the night he died. “Words definitely hurt, if you got to hear it every day, every hour on the hour.”

    In a blog by Darnell L. Moore, the writer, educator and activist who grew up gay in the very neighborhood where Wallace lived and died, gives us a painful picture of what that life is like.

    He writes: “Wauynee’s warm blood was spilled on the streets where I grew up under constant ridicule by both neighbors and strangers, who were sometimes provoked by the seeming sexual difference of others…I imagine that he might have understood what it felt like to be called “faggot,” “sissy,” or “punk” on the streets in Whitman Park. I do.”

    He includes this call to action: “While there is no evidence that Wauynee’s killing was motivated by bias, the fact that he identified as gay in a world and a city that still has yet to eradicate its homophobia must be said aloud.

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