The eight-year-old biological child of the superstar Hollywood couple has been interested in things more masculine for years. Brad even told Oprah in 2008 that she liked to be called “John.”
At the premiere for Angelina’s’ new movie?Unbroken,?which she directed, Angelina and Brad’s first born, Shiloh, stepped out on the red carpet wearing similar suits and ties to all of the males in the Jolie-Pitt clan (Maddox, Pax, and of course Brad). ?Angelina has said that “she wants to be a boy.” Jolie also reiterated that they like to have short hair?and wear boy’s clothes. Brad and Angelina fully support letting their children be themselves, whatever that may be.
This can be a great example for other parents. While many fear even the idea?of having a child who is?transgender, these parents seem to be fully supportive. Now, no one is saying that they?identify as actually being transgender. We have to keep in mind that the binary we have created is not completely real. A woman can wear suits and have short hair and not identify as a male. Also, the prominent drag culture features men who often dress as women for performance purposes etc, but do not identify as female either. There is a gender spectrum and it is important to let people identify however they would like.
While many LGBT activists and allies support the decision of Angelina and Brad to embrace their kids’ choices, others are undoubtedly concerned. Some may believe that the child is too young to make these decisions or that they don’t really know what they want. However, psychologist Linda Blair says that many times children will just want to mock the older kids in their families. Since the eldest children in the Jolie-Pitt family are boys, this could explain the decision?to dress and act like them. Whatever path they choose to take, I hope everything works out and they are accepted fully by society.
For the sake of this article, I have chose to use the pronoun “they” to follow in the footsteps of The Advocate, Refinery 29,?and others, in respecting whatever gender choices the child may make in the future.
What do you think? Should parents support their kids if they want to dress or act in ways that are contrary to how society tells them they should be? Angelina can do no wrong in my book (biggest fan ever). But is this an objectively wise decision? Let us know. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Autumn Alston was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. She expanded upon her loves of justice and liberalism at the University of CT where she graduated in 2012. She has always loved to write, debate, play basketball, and is obsessed with Angelina Jolie! She has met and interviewed famous people and seeks to work for a non profit and/or become a politician. She is on Twitter.