Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are a textbook case of how to handle gender exploration of their children. The couple has backed the decision of their daughter Shiloh Jolie Pitt to be adressed as a boy and appear as one.
In 2008, Brad Pitt went on Oprah Winfrey's show to promote his film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. He discussed his relationship with Angelina Jolie and what it's like to be the parent of six children; he also spoke about his then two-and-a-half-year-old child Shiloh.
"She only wants to be called John," Pitt told Winfrey. "John or Peter, so it's a Peter Pan thing. So, we've got to call her John." 'Shi, do you want -' 'John. I'm John.' And then I'll say, 'John would you like some orange juice?' And she goes, 'No!' So, you know, it's just kind of stuff that's cute to parents, and it's probably really obnoxious to other people."
Shiloh, since the age of two has had a tomboyish style. She's always seen wearing masculine clothes like shorts, t-shirts, ties etc.
Two years later, Life & Style magazine ran a cover story asking, "Why is Angelina Turning Shiloh into a Boy?" Many celebrity stylists critiqued the then 4-year-old Brangelina progeny for dressing like a boy.
Jolie told Vanity Fair in a 2010 interview that Shiloh has been exploring her identity since the age of three. "She wants to be a boy," Jolie said. "So we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boys' everything. She thinks she's one of the brothers."
In the years since, focus on Shiloh Jolie Pitt faded. The internet became abuzz again in December 2014 with seemingly new information about the then eight-year-old. Shiloh was spotted at the Los Angeles premier of Jolie's film Unbroken. Dressed in a dapper suit she stood alongside brothers, father Brad and Grandparents Jane and William on the red carpet.
Shiloh was on the receiving end of harsh criticism for her style by the media.
Brad and Angelina actively show their support to the LGBT community by helping several charities working towards the betterment of the community. They have also been fairly open over the years about Shiloh's interest in all things considered masculine and fully supports their kid's decision to self-identify - from an affinity for suits and ties to shorter hair to the name change.
In a recent Kids' Choice Awards acceptance speech, Angelina gave a speech about how important it is to embrace differences and be proud of what makes you different. Whether or not it was intentionally directed towards Shiloh who was seated among the audience, it was a very powerful message that even adults need to hear.