The Bell Memorial Union room was the sight for some of the last events for the ‘Trans* Week of Resilience’ on Thursday. Room 210 was a spot where anyone, no matter how you identify, could come in and look for some clothing.
From shoes, sweaters, shirts, pants, dresses, etc. anything was up for grabs with no questions asked. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. members of the Gender and Sexuality Equity Coalition was there to help with any questions people may have.
“It can be a really heavy week because of all the violence that happens in the trans community. We do like to highlight that, but today is more about self-care,” GSEC Trans Program Coordinator Sawyer Mcavoy said. “We wanted to give a space for people to debrief and relax. To come in here and get some free clothes. Some gender-affirming clothes because I know it’s really hard being trans and changing your whole wardrobe completely. We’re just trying to provide free options because buying clothes can get really expensive.”
Anything not given out is donated to the Arc Store (a local discount clothing store) and 6th Street Center for Youths.
“I’ve often been told that clothing swaps just become a clothing dump. But I feel that people actually donated quality things. It’s really exciting to see people walk-out with actual bags of clothes and a new jacket on. Going out to find clothes is hard. Like, going through the process of going to a women’s store if you identify as fem, but maybe you present a little more masculine. You could get policed in a lot of ways. We were trying to cut that out as well. To give people some leeway and freedom of choice.”
Buttons, flags, stickers, key-chains and reusable bags were also given out to show support for the trans community.
A letter-writing station for incarcerated trans people was also set up from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. People were encouraged to write to those in solitary confinement.
“We went through this organization called ‘Pinkandblack.org,’ and they focus on writing to LGBTQ people who are incarcerated,” Mcavoy said. “It was a convenient way to find folks who are incarcerated because I didn’t know how to contact those people. But Stonewall let us know about this resource, and we just pulled a few out, but there are a lot more folks you can write to. Most of them are in solitary confinement, so any kind of socialization and connection is really important for people to keep their mental stability.”
For any questions concerning the ‘Trans* Week of Remembrance,’ you can visit the GSEC office in Meriam Library, room 171.
Ricardo Tovar can be reached at [email protected] or @rtovarg13 on Twitter.