In today’s world where people tend to stand for gender neutrality, a 9-year-old Allahabad boy was bullied because he wore red lipstick. While he was awarded a derogatory term, his elder cousins came out in support by wearing the same lipstick and making him feel comfortable in his own skin.
In a thread of tweets, the boy’s cousin Diksha shared that her cousin, whom she preferred to call Little Cuz in the tweets, is "the most 'effeminate' in the house." She revealed that he loves to paint his nails and do household chores, for which he often becomes the target of mean jokes and derogatory comments.
She said, “My cousin, 9, is the most “effeminate” in the house. Let’s call him Little Cuz. Loves to paint nails, wear lip colour, learn home science! But in this stereotypical alpha male-centric household he’s often the pivot of jokes. Today he applied lip colour & got called a “chakka” (1/n)”
My cousin, 9, is the most “effeminate” in the house. Let’s call him Little Cuz. Loves to paint nails, wear lipcolour, learn home science! But in this stereotypical alpha male-centric household he’s often the pivot of jokes. Today he applied lipcolour & got called a “chakka” (1/n) pic.twitter.com/mZ2FplPNyP— Diksha Bijlani (@BijlaniDiksha) June 18, 2018
Diksha revealed that as the result of these homophobic comments, "he(Little Cuz) hid behind the curtain & under the bed, shielding his lip coloured face from the camera & from his mom.” So, in order to make him feel accepted, the elder cousins decided to wear the same lip-color and get clicked. This gave Little Cuz confidence to face the camera and he came out smiling seeing that his elder brother is also wearing the lipstick.
In such a house it takes constant work as elder cousins to undo the conditioned gender binary,normalise gender neutral acts which are deemed feminine. So we all wore lip color to make him comfortable & accepted. He felt a specially empowered when he saw my brother wearing it(3/n) pic.twitter.com/aixXrfMpbw— Diksha Bijlani (@BijlaniDiksha) June 18, 2018
Such brave act from the cousin's side definitely made the little boy feel empowered. Diksha wrote, “In such a house it takes constant work as elder cousins to undo the conditioned gender binary, normalize gender neutral acts which are deemed feminine. So we all wore lip color to make him comfortable & accepted. He felt a specially empowered when he saw my brother wearing it(3/n)”
My brother gave up any toxic masculinity & complied to influence Little Cuz. Little Cuz came out & smiled comfortable in his skin.— Diksha Bijlani (@BijlaniDiksha) June 18, 2018
So important to realise that we owe the responsibility of giving every younger kid a safe space to embrace his place within the gender spectrum(4/n) pic.twitter.com/d9ffsJbsTa
This heroic incident made the boy and cousin Diksha go viral on the internet. The picture which shows Diksha and her siblings wearing lipstick has gone viral with over 4,000 likes and hundreds of retweets. More than that, Diksha felt happy for Little Cuz because he gained the confidence of facing people who tell them that it is not normal to choose pink because he is a boy.
So important to tell little kids gender is a spectrum, a repertoire of places they can visit w/o losing their identity. I hope all of us tell kids we know that they are valid, they are accepted, & they are beautiful today. I hope we don’t become the bullies we warn them of. (5/5)— Diksha Bijlani (@BijlaniDiksha) June 18, 2018
Diksha also shared another incident in which Little Cuz reprimanded the ones who tried to make him feel ashamed of his choices and self.
Update: Today, Little Cuz picked up his sister’s pink bicycle. Uncle ridiculed him for riding on a pink bicycle like a girl (bec that’s how petty my fam is). He retorts & says “Gender real nai hota. Kal mene aur bhaiya dono ne red lipstick lagaya tha didi ke saath. Aap puchlo” 😊— Diksha Bijlani (@BijlaniDiksha) June 19, 2018
The story of the little boy getting empowered and his cousins received much love and praise from the Twitterati. They applauded Diksha and said, “The world needs more sisters like you”. One Twitter user also came in support of Little Cuz by posting a picture wearing lipstick.
Thank you for sharing this lovely story. Tell Little Cuz he looks amazing in that color and we love and accept him for who he is!!!! 🤗— cc_christiana (@cc_christiana) June 20, 2018
He's gorgeous. I hope he can keep being strong & be himself even when others try to bring him down. Be that beautiful star in the sky.— Hark! The redhead angels sing (@RedFiddler) June 20, 2018
Here's a little something in his support. pic.twitter.com/YHGh6ceTEX— वरुण (@varungrover) June 19, 2018
This just melted my heart. Diksha, we need more people like you to get rid of that mindset. Please give Little Cuz a tight, warm and fuzzy hug and tell him he’s very very cute. https://t.co/jyPEx9x356— GauravProbirPramanik (@gauravpramanik) June 20, 2018
The world needs more sisters like you. Thank you for this. Hugs, if I may.— vivek tejuja (@vivekisms) June 19, 2018