Romeo Clarke is no longer allowed to wear dresses to his church playgroup. The 5-year-old boy’s parents are very upset that the boy cannot don his favorite pink dress and go to the after school activity. According to the child’s mother, Romeo has about 100 favorite dresses and often wears them around the house in high heels and sings songs.
Georgia Clarke had this to say about her son wearing dresses at home and in public:
“He wears his dress to the supermarket and sings down the aisles. He isn’t bothered by what people think. I’m proud he is so free and comfortable with himself. He took a Barbie to school the other week. I did warn him the other children might say something but he didn’t care.”
Little Romeo attends St. Marie’s Catholic Primary School in England. The Buzz Children’s Club is an after school program run by the Rugby Christian Fellowship Church. His parents were told that he could not come back to the playgroup until he wears clothes which match his gender. Georgina told The Mirror that she was “shocked and surprised” by the mandate requiring her son not to wear dresses. “The leader, who is a really lovely lady, said she didn’t think it was appropriate that he wore the dress. She said it was upsetting and confusing the other children.”
The mother then filed a discrimination complaint with the play group. She contends that wearing a dress is her son’s choice and it makes him happy. “This is not a case of my son being trapped in a girl’s body – he’s a normal tom-boy,” she said. According to his parents, Romeo’s three sisters enjoy painting his fingernails and straightening his hair, at his request. Georgina added, “What does gender matter?”
Romeo’s father, Winston Morris, had this to say about his son wearing a dress:
“I don’t care if he wears the dress. He can be whatever he wants to be. I am not happy with the way the whole thing has been dealt with. We think he has been singled out and he definitely won’t be going back.”
Rugby Christian Fellowship Minister in Training Bex Venable is backing the dress ban at the playgroup. “Georgina’s son is still allowed to attend Buzz Children’s Club but he has been asked to wear clothing of the gender stated on his registration form, which states male. This is no different from what is asked by his school, where he wears a boy’s uniform,” Venable said.
What do you think about Romeo Clarke wearing a dress to the church playgroup?