Salute When You Call My Son a Cross-Dresser!

19 05 2009

JJ’s comment today at teacher Darren MacFarlane’s conservative education politics blog, about kilt-wearing Utah schoolboy mistaken as cross-dresser — by his own (shockingly ignorant) principal!

Gavin’s father, Preston McFarland, hopes the incident leads to discussions and education about Scottish heritage, an important part of the history of Weber County.

“I’m just kind of shocked,” he said. “Living in Utah, so many of our ancestors are from that area.”

Ben Lomond Peak was named by Scottish settlers and Ogden boasts a high school where students are encouraged to wear kilts — Ben Lomond High School.

The school’s bagpipe corps endures some occasional teasing from other schools when it competes or travels outside of the Ogden area, said adviser Cory Jensen, but generally the kilts are viewed with respect and an appreciation for Scottish culture.

“Here at the school, they are completely supportive,” Jensen said. “They are looked at as a manly thing.”

Students of Scottish heritage will wear kilts occasionally even if they aren’t in the bagpipes corps, he said.

Here We Go Again With The Kilts“:

Mrs. C just mentioned your stupid-school-principal post when she saw photos of my 13-year-old son in his Ross family tartan kilt Saturday, playing his D Naill great highland bagpipes in his first Scottish games.

My career was in public schooling but he’s never been sent to school, always happily unschooled, and this is the best example I’ve seen lately of WHY! 🙂

Although in a wicked twist of ethnocentrism, I can report that there was another piper about Young Son’s age, whose dad wants him to embrace his Scottish heritage and pushes him to play. The boy (who attends public school) flatly refused at rehearsal last week, to borrow a proper kilt for the performance, and you could tell school peer jeers were on his mind.

So he showed up in long shorts. And thus he was summarily excluded by the pipe majors in charge, from marching with the massed bands for the opening ceremony — justice?

p.s. we also ordered an American “Utilikilt” for Young Son a couple of months ago and can’t get it off him! He wears it everyday like jeans, to the mall, for pizza and the movies. So far the general public seems more enlightened than the public’s schools, and maybe there’s a good lesson in that for all of us?


Remember, kilts aren’t just damn hippie liberal arts, and being respected while wearing one isn’t just about respect for your family heritage or diversity.  The piper’s kilt is a military uniform too,  and I mean in the USA today, not just in old  stories about quaint customs in places where people talk funny but in every branch of the US armed services right now, and many police-sheriff units too — traditionally conservative and patriotic bastions where cross-dressing would get you beaten to a pulp? — men and women dress in the full-dress pipeband uniform with pride and military precision.

So where’s the conservative outcry to bring this clueless red-state principal back from his homophobic jitters?




7 responses

19 05 2009
Sidney Carton

This whole mess was a dumb as dirt. Laying aside any arguments about crossdressing, and whether or not it should be allowed in school, there is nothing effeminate about a kilt. Anyone who thinks otherwise should talk to one of the poor souls who have found themselves fighting against a Highland regiment of the British Army.

19 05 2009

Hi SC, good to see you back.

Young Son informed me shortly after he plunged into his Scottish studies, that the pipes were originally put into battle as strange, far-carrying sounds meant to unsettle (if not spook!) the enemy’s ranks. 😉

Googling around just now, I found this to support his case:

The Great Highland (Bagpipe) is probably the most prolific bagpipe worldwide today, due in no small part to the vast extent of the British Empire in the 19th century. The English military appropriated the ancient Scots use of the bagpipe as a tool of intimidation and inspiration in war, and developed military marching bands which accompanied their troops throughout ‘the colonies’. Hence, the playing of the Highland Pipes is very widespread today from New Zealand and Australia, India and Pakistan, through to Canada and the United States.

. . .The limited scale and melodic possibilities, as well as the ever-present drones, give the music both haunting and mesmerizing characteristics.

19 05 2009

Remember Amelia Bloomer “cross-dressing” — a hundred and fifty YEARS ago?!?

And it wasn’t as if there could possibly be actual confusion about who was what, not in this costume!

20 05 2009

For this uneducated school principal, and indeed anyone who would care to learn more about the kilt and all its accessories, I invite you to visit my site at

kilts are for real men.

Kind Regards,


7 10 2009
Georgia Boy Says He’s Not Cross-Dresser, Just Creative « Cocking A Snook!

[…] For my son it would have been the kilt. Good thing we just homeschooled without being sent home by authorities. Salute when you call my son a cross-dresser! […]

27 01 2012

The Ross Tartan your son is wearing, is that the pipe band tartan or your family tartan?

27 01 2012

It’s the Ross clan “Hunting” tartan. 🙂

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