'Let your little boy play with his dolls'

Introducing Dr Love, who solves your relationship riddles in a confusing digital age

Q. My son likes dolls. What do I do?
A. You should buy him a few dolls and make him happy, obviously. Why is this a problem anyway? What is it about his preference for dolls that prompts you to ask someone for advice of any sort? Are dolls for girls simply because that's what your parents told you was right? Parents have always felt strongly about the gender of their babies. It's why they add pink bows to help strangers identify their little girls who still look like boys. This is also why we convince our children that skirts are for girls and pants for boys, discouraging them from ever figuring out for themselves what they may find more comfortable. What your son chooses to play with doesn't define who he is as a person, or who he will grow up to be. If you want him to play with toy guns instead, that is probably a more worrying thing. Why not let him discover the world on his own, without you pushing him into liking things you think he should like? And if he loves a Barbie doll more than he loves you, will you love him any less?

Q. Is being gay normal?
A. Yes, if you believe being heterosexual is normal. Our government doesn't think it is, unfortunately, which is why it continues to make homosexuals feel like criminals for no fault of their own. Don't be a homophobe, because there's nothing normal about hating people for their sexual preferences. Grow up.

Q. I'm a 28-year old man who likes dressing up like a woman when I'm alone at home. I wish I could dress like a woman in public too, but the thought terrifies me. Should I seek counselling?
A. I think we're the ones who should seek counselling, for having a problem with letting people wear what they want to wear. We're not very cool, unfortunately, but let's hope the generations that come after us won't be as judgemental as we still are.

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