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Navigate: FAQ Home Page > Sexual Orientation > Son cross-dressing
Some children are intensely uncomfortable with their biological gender and may express their distress by dressing in the clothes of the opposite sex. Most frequently, this kind of confusion or distress about gender identity emerges in early childhood, although sometimes it becomes more prominent in adolescence.
Some, but certainly not all, gay males dress in women's clothing as an expression of their interest in other males. At thirteen, your son is likely to be experiencing new and changing sexual interests as is normal for boys of his age.
Of greatest concern is the fact that he seems to be trying to keep his activities secret, possibly out of shame or a fear that you would be strongly disapproving. Whatever the thoughts and feelings that lead your son to cross-dress, he will need a supportive environment in which to come to terms with them. Since teenagers in general are reluctant to discuss issues of sexuality with parents, it may be helpful to find your son a counselor who is familiar with and accepting of your son's behavior. Your conveying to your son that you love and accept him will be enormously helpful, whether or not you also seek professional help.
Judith Wilson , Ph.D.