comScore Parade for Girl Who Was Told She Couldn't Be Spider-Man | The Mary Sue

New York Neighborhood Throws Parade for 4-Year-Old Girl Who Was Told She Couldn’t Be Spider-Man

The Upper Web Spide.


Spider-Parades sound terrifying in general, but the one being thrown for 4-year-old Ellie Evangelista this Sunday in New York should be cute as heck.

Ellie’s mom Margaret Ryan told DNAInfo that the inaugural Uptown Superheroes March was conceived after Ellie was told by boys in her pre-K class the she couldn’t be Spider-Man:

She started coming home and talking about not wanting to be a girl anymore. When we pushed her on it a little, she said some boys at school were telling her she couldn’t be Spider-Man because she was a girl.

[…] I didn’t like that at only 4 she was having to grapple with something like this, that she didn’t want to be who she is.

[…] I’ve heard of stories where girls start to hide this away. When they are out in public they will pretend to like ‘girl’ things. They will still follow their real preferences at home, but will never admit to them in public.

Ryan said that she introduced Ellie to Spider-Woman from the 1970s cartoon series, but that her daughter still identified most with male Spidey: “She was like, ‘Mom, I love her, but I still want to be Spider-Man.”

Ryan turned to other parents in her neighborhood for advice, including Cheryl Burgos, who suggested organizing a parade where community members could cosplay.

The first-ever Uptown Superheroes March will take place this Sunday, June 7 at 11 a.m, and will follow a course from Fort Washington Avenue from 185th Street to the entrance to Fort Tryon Park. Costumes and signs with supportive messages are encouraged.

Screenshot 2015-06-04 at 11.26.28 AM

Ryan says she hopes the public display of support will help Ellie and other kids feel confident in their own interests and identity: “I’m hoping that she can remember this experience and feel more comfortable with being who she is, in terms of what she likes and what her preferences are.”

Maybe Ryan and co. should cast the upcoming Spider-Movie? Sounds like their vision might be a little more diverse than Marvel’s current crop of possible cast members.

[Editor’s Note: TMS Editor Dan Van Winkle called this “All the Spider-Ladies” gif to my attention. I think it’s as relevant now as it will ever be.]

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