The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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PRIDE’s 2nd annual gender-affirming clothing drive

PRIDEs+2nd+annual+gender-affirming+clothing+drive
Submitted to the Simpsonian

Simpson PRIDE is hosting its second annual gender-affirming clothing drive and swap on Nov. 30, bringing gender-affirming clothes to Simpson students in need.

This event works in three main parts. First, there is the gender-affirming clothing drive that has been going on since Nov. 13, and will continue through the end of November.

Next, is the gender-affirming items request form. With this, students are allowed to anonymously request specific items that they are in need of. This way, the organization can ask for them to be donated or provide certain sanitary items themselves.

Items could include underwear, bras, packers, binders, etc. There is predetermined funding for these items, so it is a first-come, first-served basis.

The last part of the event is the gender-affirming clothing swap in Black Box on Nov. 30 from 5-7 p.m. All items at this event are free of charge, and all students are welcome to take as much or as little as they need.

An event such as the PRIDE Gender-Affirming Clothing Drive and Swap is meant to bring together the campus community and help educate people on queer and trans issues.

Kalen Stefanick, the Co-President of PRIDE, hopes “that it makes trans students feel like they belong at Simpson, and as part of the wider community.”

When they kick-started this initiative last year, Stefanick wanted to create resources for others like them to feel safe and supported at Simpson.

This year, PRIDE has been able to partner with Common Love DSM, a small nonprofit that runs gender-affirming clothing closet events and provides other goods and services to queer and trans people. Any leftover clothing items from the drive last year were donated to this organization and will be again this year.

But Common Love is getting more involved in the Swap event this year by bringing some of their stock of clothing items and providing binder fitting and sizing help to students, a service that was not offered previously.

For anyone willing and able to help, feel free to donate any clothing or accessory items that you have in the back of your closet that you never wear – they ask that all donated items still be in wearable condition. Since many students have gone home for Thanksgiving break, it is a perfect time to grab any old clothes lying around at home. There are donation boxes all around campus, including in Kent, Pfeiffer, Smith Chapel, McNeill, and most of the residential buildings.

Another great way to help is to simply spread the word. Tell your friends about the event and encourage them to donate.

“The term gender-affirming can be confusing for some cisgender people, as they often don’t think about or realize the many ways in which they express their gender identity day-to-day,” Stefanick said. “Transgender people think about that kind of stuff much more often, especially if they deal with dysphoria. Things like clothing, hair and other forms of outward expression are the easiest way to begin exploring your personal gender identity.

But it’s not always cut and dry.

“However, for many trans people, the task of getting a whole new wardrobe or specialized gender-affirming items, such as binders or packers, can be really daunting and financially or socially inaccessible,” they said. “For many queer kids, college is the first place where they truly have the freedom to play around with their expression and gender identity.”

This event requires a community effort. If anyone is interested in helping out by tabling in Kent, collecting donations from around campus, or helping with set up and tear down of the Clothing Swap event, reach out to Stefanick at [email protected].

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Kyrsten Rehberg, Staff Reporter

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