I forgot that I hadn't even posted this. Brooke at age nine (now ten) decided that for a variety of reasons, she wanted to be a boy. Her haircut got shorter until it was in a bob. She wanted it short like her brothers. We discussed it and decided to try it ear length bob short for a while and see after that. We discussed the pros and cons and whys of her wish. Anyway, off to the hairdressers we went. The hairdresser was most reluctant and kept asking me 'are you sure, Mum?'
My reply was that it was Brooke's hair and she was the one who had to be happy and comfortable with it. Off it all came. Only not quite. The hairdresser wanted it to still have a clip somewhere... still be able to 'style it'. Brooke was okay with it but certainly not grinning.
When we got home she said 'can't you just cut it short like the boy's hair Mum?'... so out came the clippers and the number three comb and there she was, freshly shorn.... and she LOVED it... I haven't seen the grin on her face so big! LOL
Not long after that... Mum... can you not buy pink, or purple or anything fluffy and girly and stuff please? Okay... suits me. She's happy and heck the clothes get to be passed down to her brothers... three times over LOL So with instructions to only shop in the 'boy' section off I went. Between retail (which I try not to do often) and Op Shops we came home with her new gear and she was set. And it hasn't changed since. She LOVES being mistaken for a boy, gets really chuffed and it makes her day. She was invited to the 'all girl' party from her friends at school and the only 'girl' invited to the boy party LOL
I should add within a day or two her new name was 'George' (aka George/Georgina from the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton) and even the teachers have accepted this as her preferred name. Her mother still calls her Brooke though - I explained it's like a certain other habit of hers that she's been only doing for a few years, I've been calling her Brooke for 10 years and it's a hard habit to change. ;)
I do understand all her reasons behind her choices. I was a tomboy at school, only with a long plait down my back past my bum. I understand the several reasons behind her choice and support her in them. It's all part of learning and growing up and learning to be happy in your own skin.
Of course, sometimes it's not an option like gymnastics, to be in the 'boy' section. So there she is in the girls class at gymnastics, with the leotard she chose, and her short hair. She's happy. That's what matters. I wouldn't force her to have long hair and wear dresses any more than I'd force her to wear long pants and polo shirts if she didn't want to. There are times when you choose, as a parent, but this isn't one of them.
Gender isn't an issue in our house, best as it can be. Brooke, freshly shorn again, is now reading on her bed. Jake has just completed his first solo batch of shortbread. They all learn to knit and sew, and school is the same - girls and boys learn sewing, knitting, woodwork, baking. They all learn to help with younger people and learn compassion, empathy and the like. There is no 'girl' job or 'boy' jobs. Cleaning your room and making your bed, changing a tyre, checking the oil in the car. I want the kids to be well rounded, able to think for themselves and happy in their skin. And someone said to me once, what if she never has long hair again... well so be it, I say.
EDIT. This was the haircut Brooke chose for about a year (?) or so. as of 2012 she has longer hair again now, touching her shoulders and 2013 it's below her shoulder blades and she's happy with it. When the time came round for the four of them to line up for haircuts, she just said 'mmm I think I want to grow it out a bit'... so she did.