Justice is a clothing store known for its sparkly tutus, bright pink t-shirts, and all things tween girl, but this little boy had been wanting to shop there for years, and now his dream finally came true. Martie Todd Sirois, blogger at Gender Creative Life and mother of a gender-nonconforming 10-year-old, penned a heartwarming letter on Facebook addressed to the store, detailing her son's experience at Justice, and the long journey it took to get them there.
"My 10-year-old gender non-conforming son has been wanting to shop at Justice since he was 4, when he would tag along with his big sister shopping for clothes," Sirois wrote. "After about age 11, she outgrew Justice and we hadn't gone in the store for years. He ended up always begrudgingly trying on clothes from the boys departments along with his older brother. But he hated it. He avoided trying on clothes at all costs. Back-to-school shopping was a chore he dreaded to the extreme."
She explained that because her son does not identify as a girl, they felt they couldn't shop there. "There was just something off-putting about those words on your window, reading, 'Just for girls,' that kept us away time and time again."
After speaking with fellow members of a support group, one of the women spoke to the local Justice store manager asking what she thought about a boy shopping there, and she said that "everyone is welcome at Justice."
"We rushed to get there, and just around 5:10 arrived. There were no other customers in the store. My son's eyes were huge and overwhelmed with possibilities. Stephnie came right over to greet us, didn't bat an eyelash, and basically took on the role of my son's personal shopper for the evening. After getting a feel for what colors, textures, and patterns he liked, Stephnie showed us several possibilities, from sequined mini skirts to slim jeggings. My son LOVED them all. We went to the changing room, and my son couldn't get those clothes on fast enough. Once that first outfit was on, he posed and admired himself in the mirror, spun around in circles to see the skirt poof out, and studied himself from all angles in every possible combination of outfits. It was pure joy. My son dropped his frequent doom and gloom look and suddenly sprang to life in these clothes. There was no denying he became a different, more confident, and happier child when wearing pretty things."
She made sure to thank the kind manager for her time and open heart: "She made my son feel beautiful and totally free of judgment. I want to thank her for that precious, precious gift. I rarely get to see my son being his full potential, his absolute true self in public. She encouraged that and even helped bring it out. I felt so much hope for the future."