Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber announced they were splitting up in September, but when you share two children and a career with your ex, it’s inevitable that you’re going to cross paths.
Thankfully at this week’s ComicCon, where Schreiber appeared to promote his role in My Little Pony: The Movie and Watts to promote hers in Twin Peaks, it wasn’t the co-parents who caused a scene: it was their son. And not in a bad way.
Schreiber brought both his sons, Sasha and Kai, with him to the Comic Book Convention, and the 9 and 10 year old boys went full CosPlay for the occasion. It was the younger son, Kat, who drew the most attention, especially from the Internet. His CosPlay many Twitter users agreed was better than most adults who attempt it (the perks of having rich, film-making parents, no doubt). Alongside Sasha’s Star Wars costume and Schreiber in a Batman mask, Kat went full Harley Quinn, complete with long blonde pigtails and ripped fishnets.
It’s a sign of continuing understanding and acceptance of gender-fluidity and shirking gender norms that neither Kai’s parents or much of the press made the fact of Kai’s assigned gender and his choice of costume an issue. The Internet was overwhelmingly positive, taking the CosPlay for its overall merits above everything else.
Schreiber was interviewed at the Convention and seemed to be having a lad with his kids, saying they had battled multiple Storm Troopers and had played around with some Virtual Reality before heading off to meet Watts for lunch.
Other celebrity children are contributing to the increasing public acceptance of challenging gender expectations, starting with Cher’s son Chaz, who has now fully transitioned and has been living happily for years, and going all the way to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s first biological child, born Shiloh and reportedly now called John. Shiloh/John has been appearing publicly for a while in what prior generations would have called “Tom boy” style. The rumors continue that the child wants to complete a medical transition and identify fully as male.
And the world of fashion is also playing its part, and has been for years, in allowing for gender-fluidity and transgenderism to become a normal, everyday thing. Andreja Pejic stunned a few years ago as the incredibly feminine looking Andrej modeling wedding dresses, et cetera before coming out and transitioning herself. Erika Linder, who has posed with Pejic in what was a gender-swap photo shoot, as well as Ruby Rose and Elliott Sailors have all made their modeling names while crossing gender lines.
Rain Dove, a gender fluid model, recently called out the fashion world for treating gender nonconformity and fluidity as a fashionable trend. Reacting to a Vogue cover calling Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik a part of the gender-fluid community, though neither celebrity identifies as such, Dove stated: “There are a lot of pioneers who are really paving the way right now and taking huge risks in their careers and their personal lives in order to be able to bring awareness to people that there is the idea of gender fluidity in the world.”
The model’s statement drew an apology from Vogue who has since corrected their headline so that it doesn’t mistakenly identify Hadid and Malik as gender fluid, merely as a heterosexual cisgendered couple who shares clothing. The moment is an important one in illustrating the fashion giant’s desire to engage in an accepting way with an increasingly visible gender identity as well as the increasing visibility and acceptance of all gender identities, and that they still have lessons to learn in that journey. The conversation contributes to progress and acceptance, as do the innumerable Tweets proclaiming that Kai Schreiber was “slaying” at ComicCon in his gender-challenging CosPlay.