Ever since having kids, I’ve been a fan of Old Navy. They have good children’s clothes at affordable prices — a big help when you have three active kids who are continuously outgrowing and wearing out their clothes. But that’s not the only reason I shop at Old Navy, especially this time of year.
Recently, we were on holiday and found ourselves in need of some new pants (sans holes) for Ezra, my youngest, as well as a couple other small items. The only viable option we had available was Wal-Mart. Normally, I don’t shop at the retail giant because I have some serious issues with the way they run their business, but sometimes, evil becomes a necessary evil.
So there we were, on the last weekend before Pride Month, at Wal-Mart in the midst of a fairly conservative area. It just so happened that I was wearing one of my Pride shirts. (This is not that surprising; when I’m not dressed up for the office, I’m almost always wearing either a Pride shirt or one of my LEGO chess set shirts.) My oldest and I passed a display of Fourth-of-July merchandise including shirts. I mentioned to Jared that perhaps I ought to ask someone if they had any Pride shirts, what with June being right around the corner and all. We both laughed at the thought of how well that would go over with the locals.
In all seriousness, however, I do wear my Pride shirts with, well, pride. As do my kids. And every June, we trekked downtown to the one Old Navy store that carried their Pride shirts. Until now. This year, for the first time as far as I know, Old Navy is selling their shirts online. No trekking downtown amidst the crowds of tourists and twenty-something hipsters, no getting disappointed because no other stores carry them, just sitting comfortably at home and clicking the mouse.
But why would I want Pride shirts for my wholly heterosexual family? For two reasons, really. First, we want to show support for the LGBTQ community, especially those who feel ostracized or excluded because of their orientation. There are a lot of kids around the same ages as my children who are trying to figure out who they are and are faced with a lot of negative messages; we want to be a positive one.
I also think, however, that it’s an important part of raising kids to teach them not only to accept others, but to stand up publicly in support of them. There is a famous photo of August Landmesser, a young German man, refusing to perform the Nazi salute in Germany in 1936, surrounded by hundreds of saluting men. I want my kids to have that sort of defiant fortitude and willingness to make a stand for what’s right. I want them to be on the right side of history at all times, not only on behalf of the LGBTQ community, but on behalf of all people because, after all, we’re all in this together.
And now, I’m off to order some shirts. Thanks, Old Navy!
This post is part of Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day 2016.