TheGrio.com spoke to several specialists who weighed in on Dyson and the Kilodavises’ experience, concluding that really the issue is much ado about nothing:
Dr. Melva Green, a psychiatrist said, “In terms of gender exploration this is very natural.”
Sheri L. Parks, an associate professor in the American Studies department at the University Maryland, College Park, says she is intrigued by the enormous interest in the story.
“At one level I’m surprised because the phenomenon of little boys dressing up in little girls clothing is not new, and certainly not particular to him,” she said.
Still she says the fact that the Kilodavis’ are African-American called attention to the issue in the African-American community, which tends to be more conservative about the way they view gender roles.
Mrs. Kilodavis says her own interaction with other African-Americans has been a mixed bag but she acknowledges, “In some parts of the African American community, gender identity issues are taboo.”
Dr. Parks goes even further when explaining the taboo.
“Religiosity permeates African-American daily life more than any other population,” Parks said. “When you look at evangelical Protestants they are the most concerned about gender role development and sexual orientation.”
She noted, “African-Americans are very emotionally involved in black masculinity. Masculinity is very highly valued, that’s why some people come down hard on this little boy whose not taking his rightful place…”
Y’all know that much is true!
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