A Halloween Winner and (sort of a) Poll

Happy Halloween!

First, I would like to announce the winner of Jacinta Bunnell’s gendertastic coloring book, Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon! Our lucky winner, Emily Striker, randomly selected by the trusty random.org, will receive her copy by mail pronto.


The rest of you, go out and buy the book here!

Second, I’d wanted to present you with a little poll in honor of Halloween. But I realized the questions I had in mind were slightly more cumbersome than what I could fit into a yes-or-no format. (If you have a pink boy or a transgirl, what was s/he for Halloween? If you have a tomboy or a transboy, what was s/he for Halloween? If your child is gender-normative, was s/he inclined to transgress traditional gender bounds in a way that…oh my.)

So since I can’t quite sate my curiosity in a poll, I’ll just ask—and encourage you to share in the comment section below—what were you and your family members for Halloween? Did anyone not get to be what they wanted…and why? Did anyone’s choices surprise you?

I’ll start: This year, Sam was a medieval mercenary. Ruby was a candy corn fairy. My husband was Dick Cheney. I was a mom. We all got to be what we wanted to be for Halloween, and it all surprised me.



  1. Jen Irving Kochman says

    Thanks for a great blog, Sarah! My son, who is 5, decided to be a witch. In kindergarten class, when asked what the kids wanted to be for Halloween, kids started to make fun of him when he said a “witch,” until the teacher said there were male witches called warlocks. His grandfather also asked him on the phone how he could be a witch, and I used the warlock line again. However, Halloween afternoon, my son asked me in private if he could be a “girl witch,” to which I replied, “of course!” …. and proof that our kids hear and process everything around them. I was thrilled that he had the confidence to choose to be his own kind of witch, and stick with it. Our older son, who was 8, was Harry Potter. Our dogs were witches, too! We were happy parents.

  2. Melissa says

    Chris was a zombie goth angel. Spent days planning the costume. Ended up with a frilly pageant dress torn up with fish nets and combat boots. We spent 2 hours curling his hair and tying it up with black ribbons and then pale make up with the required black eye shadow and lip stick and for added effect we used a trauma moulage kit to make some hideous wounds.

    I have to say I was a bit unsettled with the whole thing..but then I remembered the last 3 ( yes 3 ) years of being Hannah Montana and before that 2 years of ” pageant princess ” suddenly the whole thing looked just fine :)

  3. Patti says

    Well, I didn’t dress this year. But as I’ve mentioned here before, I was (and still am) a female in a male body. And even though my mom “knew,” in those days there was nothing that could be done. Except on Halloween. She would routinely ask what I wanted to be and I would routinely say I didn’t know. Then she would suggest, each year, like it was a new idea: “Why don’t we dress you up like a girl [or some female]!” And she would buy me a dress or skirt, especially for the occasion, along with anything else I needed. I know that most moms would have gotten by with hand-me-downs, but she knew how important it was for me to have a chance to be the “real me.” The cute outfits, makeup, tights or nylons — it was heaven for me, and she knew it! In high school, she bought me a pair of pumps, and as always, let me keep all the clothes without saying a word, knowing I would happily wear them again, on my own. Even though I’ve accepted my lot in life, it still is painful that I can’t be the “real” me. But my mom sure made her little girl happy once a year. :)

  4. Paul says

    I was a Queen, my wife was a King, and our 2 1/2 year old very pink daughter was her Royal Princess. (Though in other ways she is a bit of a tomboy.) We encountered Snow White in drag along our T&T route last night (that was a moment!), and that lead to some consternation. (“Girls are Snow White, not boys!”). Though she didn’t seem to have a problem with dad as Queen. So we’re working on it!

  5. Melissa says

    My gender normative child was Buzz Lightyear. He wanted to be Mr. Incredible, but seeing as how we paid $50 for the Buzz Lightyear costume and dutifully stowed it away for 2 months so it wouldn’t get ruined before Halloween, mommy kind of put her foot down. Once he saw the light-up protective eye wear, Mr. Incredible was all but forgotten. Whew.

    My gender non-conforming child was a princess complete with an up-do, eyelashes that would make any grown woman jealous, and a sparkling crown.

    My husband, unfortunately, went as a sick daddy and sat out by the neighbor’s bonfire to stay warm during his fever. And, I went as a nurse because I had to leave for work right after the babysitter took off with the kids. She went as a cowgirl because she knew she’d be wrangling two small children. Wise girl. I was surprised by everything except the princess. That was a no-brainer.

  6. megan says

    I did have a surprise this year regarding gender roles and such. We trick or treated w/ a family that we have done the 31st with
    since the kids were babies. A 5 year old girl and almost 3 year old boy. The girl has always been the girliest girl imaginable.
    She was actually admonished at her preschool for making fun of any girl that did not wear a dress to school. She insisted on
    wearing sundresses b/c they were twirlier than wool through the rainy season (begrudgingly w/ cardigans). Well this year she was
    Spiderman – in a skirt and boots – but spiderman. I asked her mom about it because i was really surprise given all huge halloween
    possibilities of girling it up. Her mom said she has done costumes in a his and her variety w/ her brother starting 2 years ago –
    last year micky and minnie mouse… but minnie mouse had a pinafore and pink everywhere. I don’t know it just felt like this is the biggest dress
    up day of the year and this little girl choose her “family tradition” all of 2 years over pinking it up girly style.

    Since we are writing i do have to give props to where we live, S.F, and how diverse it naturally is in many schools/neighborhoods.
    Both my girls have good friends w/ 2 dads. When they told me about it… E. has 2 dads. I said yep and some kids have 2 moms.
    And my daughter said seemlessly “and some kids have 2 brothers” That was how she saw it. So matter of factly. Love it!

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