Raleigh mom's letter to Justice goes viral after shopping with gender non-conforming son
Posted September 15, 2016
A Raleigh mom's open letter praising tween clothing store Justice and its employees as they helped her 10-year-old son has gone viral.
Martie Todd Sirois took her gender non-conforming 10-year-old son to the store at Poyner Place behind Triangle Town Center in north Raleigh this month.
In the Facebook post, Sirois writes that her son has wanted to shop at the store since he was four and would visit with his big sister. His sister, however, has aged out of the store. So Sirois ended up dragging him and his older brother to boys departments where her son hated trying on clothes.
"Every time we made a trip to your neighbor store, Target, my son would longingly look in the windows of Justice and say, 'I wish I could shop there.' But we never went in," Sirois writes. "There was just something off-putting about those words on your window, reading, 'Just for girls,' that kept us away time and time again. My son doesn't identify as a girl, at least he hasn't for as long as he has been able to communicate, although he has always acted like a stereotypical girl, played exclusively with stereotypical girls toys, and has almost exclusively female friends."
But Sirois mentioned her son's "Justice wish" to a support group for parents of gender non-conforming and trans children.
"I wondered out loud whether a clothing store that touts itself as 'just for girls' would be open to a boy trying on their clothes," she writes. After the passage of House Bill 2 in the spring, "I wondered whether they'd have a legal right to deny my son entry to a female dressing room," she wrote.
A mom in the group took charge, calling the store and asking whether a boy could try on clothes. The answer was yes. And Sirois and her son made the trek to Justice where they were more than welcomed.
You can read much more in Sirois' Facebook post, which has been shared more than 22,200 times so far. Sirois also wrote about her experience on Huffington Post. The story also was picked up by Scary Mommy.
Sirois spoke about her son during the annual Listen to Your Mother performance at Meredith College in the spring.
"This isn't a reflection of something my husband and I did wrong in our parenting," she said. "Of course, we made and continue to make mistakes. We didn't impregnate our son with a preference for pink. We did our due diligence, buying him trucks and tools sets. But he was never interested. ... It dawned on me later that he was something that I have come to learn much about - gender creative. It's not a mental disorder. It's not dysphoria. ... My son is very happy with being a boy and having boys parts. He simply enjoys all the things that are marketed to girls."
You can see more of her reading in this YouTube video.