Simpson’s transgender community seeks your support


Photo provided by Kalen Stefanick

More information on the Gender-affirming clothing swap.

by Chloe Peck, Staff Reporter

Kalen Stefanick and Simpson PRIDE are spearheading the gender-affirming clothing swap event, held in Hubbell Hall from 7:30-9:00 p.m. on Nov. 14. Up until the day of the event, they will be accepting all kinds of donations from clothing items, belts, shoes and any and all accessories. 

For the event to be successful, Stefanick encourages students to clean out those closets and, “be honest with yourself. You know the items you no longer use or wear, and could do without. Together we can get them to people who truly need it.” 

Donation boxes can be found in all residence halls, Kent, Smith Chapel and Pfieffer. PRIDE is also ensuring the event is size-inclusive, so all body types will be represented and can participate.

The event will be open and free to all Simpson college students.

“I am really encouraging cisgender individuals to come out and participate as well. Everyone has gender-affirming clothing; it’s simply clothes that make you feel comfortable in your body,” Stefanick said. “We want to normalize these types of things so the trans community can feel more comfortable showing up to these events,” 

Buying clothes, wearing clothes and liking the clothes bought and worn is considered participating in gender-affirming clothing. It’s all about what makes someone feel comfortable in their own skin, which is a luxury not everyone gets to experience. 

Transgender, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming individuals often have to settle for a life less comfortable than they desire. Whether this is due to financial reasons or fear of coming out, events like this can help students struggling with either or both. 

Purchasing an entirely new wardrobe wouldn’t be feasible for anyone and, if someone is not yet out to their community, shopping in a public space can be intimidating and even dangerous. Others still aren’t quite sure where they fit on the spectrum and need these opportunities to find themselves. 

Stefanick wants to remind everyone that participating in events like these does not mean you are ‘coming out.’ There is no pressure to fit under any category. 

“That’s why I feel if cisgender individuals really show out, it could help tremendously. It will create an atmosphere that is more about community, shopping and having fun rather than a serious vibe of secretly trying to get items,” Stefanick said. “It’s all about normalizing.” 

Along with the clothing event, there will also be an anonymous gender-affirming items survey. New clothing and accessories can help individuals feel more comfortable, but there are still items necessary and size-specific to each person, such as underwear, bras, binders, packers, makeup etc. The survey will be sent directly to Stefanick, who will then order the items using PRIDE’s budget. 

“I will be the only person to see the survey responses. As a trans individual myself, your anonymity and safety are my first priority. I only need personal information so I know where to send items,” Stefanick said. “QR codes for the survey can be found on posters around campus and next to all donation boxes. There is no limit as to what you can ask for, but it is first come, first serve, due to the set budget.”

Simpson College strives to be a safe and welcoming place for everyone, not only individuals who are cisgender. This is an opportunity for students and community members to experience a new perspective and help classmates feel safe and supported. 

“I started these events with the hope of helping other students who are going through what I did last year when I first came out,” Stefanick said. “It’s a very personal topic to me and one I hope can become easier and easier to talk about. Trans rights are human rights.” 

For more information on the transgender and non-binary community, visit, follow them on Twitter @HRC, Instagram or Facebook @humanrightscampaign, as well as Simpson’s very own PRIDE Instagram @simpco_pride.