Pride T-shirts, why I’m making them.

Hello, I am Tim McInturff, the owner and creator of RPG Pride. This store is a passion project for me, and it holds a deep amount of sentiment for me as well. I am hoping to make lives better through awareness. Let’s start off with me telling my story.

The story behind these shirts started about 7 years ago. It was then that my oldest daughter, who is 29 now, became more open about her sexuality, coming out to her mother and me. She waited a little bit after coming out to her mother in order to tell me, however.

This was because, despite not being aggressive about it, I was a pretty open evangelical Christian, and that alone might have made her uncomfortable with telling me. However, she could not be more wrong about that, as I was accepting of it from the beginning.

In fact, I suspected for a few years that she might have been gay, but I was not angry or upset about it. In fact, it would take me a while to understand why I was so accepting myself. But that is a story for another time.

About 7 years after that, she was more comfortable being open around other people who were not family. While we were still living in the same state, we were not living in the same city. She lived in Springfield while we lived in St Louis. So when she asked me if I was willing to go to the PRIDE festival with her, I sadly had to tell her that I was not able to. But I did promise that I would go to my local PRIDE and talk to her at the same time via FaceTime and text messages. This way, we can still share this important moment together, even when we were apart in different cities.

During this event together, I had hopped for us to be wearing matching shirts. And this is where the imagery of combining PRIDE colors in with a Dungeons and Dragons design was born for myself.

My children grew to love table top games and later introducing Dungeons and Dragons, and nobody loved it more so than my oldest daughter. She loved the game so much that she even became the dungeon master.

We played a lot of table top games, Munchkins, Smash-Up and Cards Against Humanity were some of our favorites. My kids tricked me into playing Cards Against Humanity for the first time in a crowded public gaming store. But my overall favorite would be Dungeons and Dragons. So I decided that I would pick a pair of matching shirts for us that incorporated Dungeons and Dragons along with imagery of PRIDE flags to wear to my first PRIDE festival.

However, despite looking for over 2 months, I could not find any shirts that matched the aesthetic that I was looking for. With the deadline fast approaching, and PRIDE on the horizons, I looked frantically. This may not seem like a big deal for most people but it was a big deal for me.

But despite this, I never stopped looking for the right shirt. I looked through many online stores both big and small, looking for that shirt that would make the best design for this combination. I just could not seem to find one online, and that depressed me. But my luck in finding one would not change for yet another year.

It was then that the owner of the Dungeons and Dragons IP, Wizards of the Coast, came out with a Shirt during PRIDE month. However, despite this, they only sell the shirt during the month of June. This meant that I have still not been able to get my hands on one for one reason or another during this short time loop.

I was hoping to be able to find a shirt that was out year-round and be able to buy it whenever I had the money for it, but could not find one. But something happened that made me consider listing a design for sale myself, and that would be the current pandemic.

Due to this pandemic, I lost my job. Without a steady source of income, I was worried that I would not be able to pay the rent. It was then that I decided that I was going to open up my own store and help people who would have been in my position to also have the option to buy shirts to show their love of Dungeons and Dragons, as well as their support for PRIDE.

It started out with selling certain designs on shirts in the typical rainbow LGBT colors. But since I knew and had exposure to different groups. For instance, I added the Lesbian Pride Flag, the Nonbinary Pride Flag, Asexual Pride Flag, and more! I also decided that if I am going to be selling shirts, I might as well list other things that made sense to playing games, such as tote bags, mugs, and stickers to show how much one supports loved ones who are LGBTQ+.

With this shop, I am hoping to spread love and awareness for people like my daughter who felt alone while growing up. Something that parents or loved ones can do to show their support, even if it is in subtle ways.

Everyone deserves to feel loved and accepted, and should not feel uncomfortable with being who they are. And I am hoping to convey that message with the clothing and other items that I sell. I also want to incorporate Dungeons and Dragons, as it means so much to me, and that there does not seem to be much of a market out there. Be living and accepting and the love will come back your way.