Nine-year-old Sam Gouveia has been bullied in the past for painting his nails and his love of sewing. “But that,” his dad Aaron wrote in a now-viral TikTok video, “didn’t stop him from being the only boy at sewing camp.”
And it also didn’t stop his parents from getting him a brand new sewing machine for his birthday.
The video of Sam opening the box is the sweetest thing ever. And hearing his dad’s supportive voice in the background is just as moving.
The video has been viewed 2.5 million times now and racked up over 10,000 comments.
“It’s a sewing machine!!” Sam yells, and his hands go to his head, probably to keep it from exploding. “It’s a SINGER!! THANK YOU!”
“You’ve got you’re own sewing machine, bud,” his dad says. “Right at home.”
“It has a seam ripper with it! Look at all the heads! It even has its own buttons!”
People loved the video, Sam, and his dad.
Many wished their parents had shown them the same support. “Thank you so much for letting him pursue his passions at such a young age 🥺 I wish my family did that…,” one wrote.
Others encouraged Sam’s hobby — and pointed out that plenty of men have excelled on the sewing machine. “So many famous designers are/were men! Alexander McQueen, YSL, Tom Ford, Alessandro Michele, etc… so excited to see what he makes,” wrote another.
“All those bullies have no idea they will be PAYING him one day to wear his designs!!! he's so happy. good job mom and dad,” another wrote.
And everyone agreed this was a parenting win.
“I love, love, love that you support his passion. What every parent should do,” gushed one commenter.
Sam’s dad shared a dress that Sam made at the end of the video — and since it posted at the beginning of the month has shared more of Sam’s creations.
He posted a thank you video — and also showed off some scrunchies he made with his new machine.
“[The comments] made me feel really good. It made me feel like boys could do whatever they want.”
His dad added, “It’s so wonderful to have such wonderful comments from strangers all over the world; they are life-affirming."
“For someone like Sam who has severe ADHD, ODD, and some mild depressive tendencies, he has a hard time this has bolstered him in a way that is real and tangible, and you all did that and I can’t thank you enough.”
Sam’s also cutting up his dad’s shirts to make stuff at his new sewing station — and his dad isn’t even mad about it.
Sam also caught the eye of Gunnar Deatherage, a Project Runway designer who saw himself in the 9-year-old. He sent Sam a care package filled with fabric and nail polish, along with a sweet and supportive note.
Sam’s dad Aaron also posted a follow-up video, where he shared that he’s come a long way as a dad when it comes to supporting his kids, shattering gender roles, and fighting toxic masculinity. And he has his wife to thank for his evolution.
“I have to admit I do feel a little guilty because some of the comments have been like, ‘Oh, what a great, supportive dad.’ Maybe it’s because it’s novel to see a dad advocate for things like sewing,” Aaron said in the video.
“Because I got to tell you, years ago, my oldest son is 14. And I distinctly remember, years ago, when he was a baby, I was in my 20s, and she put him in pink socks. And I lost my mind. I said, ‘What are you going to do? People are going to think he’s gay!’ Cos he had pink socks on.
“I was that guy. I’m not that guy anymore. I’ve changed a lot. But I’ve only changed because of my wife, first and foremost. And then all of the friends I’ve made and the people who’ve set me straight. I’m a convert, but my wife was always on the right side of this.”
At the end of the day, he feels like while the video is sweet, it shouldn’t be news.
“The irony is, in a perfect world, this wouldn’t rate as news because no one would bat an eyelash at a boy liking sewing because sewing should not have a freaking gender assigned to it,” he told Queerty. “I hope Sam’s video has played a small part in breaking down that stereotype and changing a handful of minds.”