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Raleigh mom's letter to Justice goes viral after shopping with gender non-conforming son

Posted September 15, 2016

A Raleigh mom  shares her son's experience when shopping at the tween store Justice.

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.


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  • Ken Ackerman Sep 16, 2016
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    I am not religious, I've never been to church, and I've never read the bible. Every time I see hate and intolerance spewed forth by people that consider themselves "Christians" it just reinforces my beliefs. I think I've heard that people that believe are supposed "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other"? I seem to also remember hearing something about withholding judgement.

    If this person wishes to wear pink or orange or blue or a dress, whatever, exactly how does that harm anyone? The harm will most likely come to him when his Christian raised classmates bully, tease, and judge him.

  • Linda Levine Sep 15, 2016
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    I am so tired of people being so judgmental. Let kids be kids and choose what toys they want to play with and who they want to be. It is the adults that cause the issues by labeling behaviors as good or bad based on their own beliefs and desires and past experiences. When legislation like this is passed, it creates an oppressive atmosphere. I feel no need to judge others. Until I see an actual issue that needs to be addressed, I can only see this law as discrimination. Lets address the the real issues in this society and stop with the games and the legislation coated in hate and injustice.

  • Sam Nada Sep 15, 2016
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    Why do you imagine I would say that?

  • Haley Sessoms Sep 15, 2016
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    To all of you who keep saying he's still a boy and all he wants to do is dress in pink. I can guarantee you his parents will not be finding any playboys under his mattress in a few years

  • Catherine Edwards Sep 15, 2016
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    We are all created by God. So are those that are different from others. Normal is a range not an absolute.

    It just kills me that the ones that spout being religious are the ones with the most hateful comments I've ever seen about people. Where's the love?

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. BTW we are all sinners due to original sin.

  • Matt Clinton Sep 15, 2016
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    The boy needs help, not enabling, just like the other gender confused people out there. But, they make very convenient anti-societal political pawns, so they're led astray by those who feel they have something to gain from their condition. It's a good thing the same people haven't found a way to politicize anorexia, or they'd be telling anorexics that yes they really are fat and prescribing them ipecac.

  • Brian Gaertner Sep 15, 2016
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    ...the allow you purchased to the burn I just put on you for calling you out for not even reading the article closely enough to mange an educated comment about it

  • Brian Gaertner Sep 15, 2016
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    @Bryan Jeffries.

    Yes the article does mention HB2 which is why I commented to begin with. The mother said "with the passing of HB2, she wasn't sure if Justice would allow the child in the girls changing room."

    Is there anything else in the article that you overlooked that you would like me to go over?

  • Aiden Audric Sep 15, 2016
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    I fail to see where the bible says that a boy must wear blue and play with trucks. Do you know where it says that?

    This boy seems happy playing creatively. Why would that sicken you?

    I'm honestly curious about those two points. Would you elaborate?

  • Bryan Jeffries Sep 15, 2016
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    HB2 isn't mentioned anywhere in the article nor would it even pertain to this situation. Thank you for playing. Johnny, tell him what his consolation prizes are.