10,000 Dresses

Unlike some of the other stories I have read, 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert does not have parents that are perfectly supportive of their trans child. Bailey’s parents try to suppress her identity and force her to present as male, even though she would rather wear dresses and present as female. This story is significant, because Bailey finds support in the form of her friend Laurel who helps her make pretty dresses to wear.

A lot of this picture book is set in Bailey’s dream world, where she is able to wear all of the dresses that she dreams of. It is a pretty and fantastic world, but it’s tragic at the same time because it represents the way that Bailey can only be her true self in her dreams. In a way, she is trapped in her own head by her parents and society’s expectations of gender.

In the end of 10,000 Dresses, Laurel makes matching dresses for herself and Bailey and uses Bailey’s female pronouns. In this simple way, she validates Bailey’s identity as female. I think this is the most important aspect of the story, because it shows that there are simple and powerful ways for cis people to use their privilege and validate trans people’s lives and make them more comfortable in the world.



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