18th Century Citation of a Dress Wearing Bostonian Boy

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.

18th Century Citation of a Dress Wearing Bostonian Boy

Postby Departed Member » Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:48 pm

Have a look at this:

"Then came a mysterious episode in early December. Two young men, Lendell Pitts and John Gray, were in court after a fight. Months before, Pitts had been flirting with a young lady he’d met on the street only to discover that young lady was a teen-aged boy in a dress and that all his friends were laughing at him. Pitts held Gray responsible for that embarrassment—perhaps Gray was in the dress, perhaps he’d organized the prank. Pitts clubbed Gray over the head. Gray sued for assault, and the case worked its way up through the appeal process."

Taken from http://www.boston1775.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... atick.html

The blogpost is about the apparent madness of early Founding Father and Massachusetts lawyer James Otis, Jr., who is not given enough credit for his involvement as a Founding Father, but tucked in there is an episode of an 18th century legal case concerning the assault by a grown man of a boy wearing a dress. The man was hitting on the dress wearing boy, thinking he was a girl, and when he saw that it was actually a boy wearing the dress, he hit the boy on the head. The boy took him to court for assault. The term cross-dressing is used in the citation, although I don't think we can assume he was cross-dressing for the purpose of looking like a woman, simply because there is not enough information known thus far. We don't know why the boy was wearing a dress. We don't know what else he was wearing. We only know he was wearing a dress typical of that time period. Perhaps the boy just liked wearing dresses (apparel typically associated with the opposite sex), like many of us on here even though we aren't trying to portray ourselves as women.

Pretty interesting though. Perhaps men wanting to wear the clothing of what society typically associates with the opposite gender is not really a new trend. Perhaps 18th century men too wanted to wear dresses and skirts but weren't homosexual or transgender.
Departed Member

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