Transgender clothing closets are a major win for self-expression—and mental health



While many people take for granted that they can walk into a store and leave with a garment that reflects how they feel on the inside, it's not so easy for those who identify as transgender or non-binary. With this in mind, a growing number of LGBTQ+ resource centers and universities are opening free clothing closets for trans and gender non-conforming people, giving them a place to explore and express their identities through fashion. According to Aydin Olson-Kennedy, LCSW, clothing closets like these are super important for the wellness of the LGBTQ+ community. These safe spaces are particularly important now, as the government is reportedly proposing to narrow the definition of gender-basing it solely on the genitals a person is born with, and effectively ending the recognition of transgender people under federal law. "Up until the creation of synthetic hormones about 100 years ago, people largely exhibited their gender identity through clothing and profession. Medical interventions didn't exist," says Olson-Kennedy, executive director of the Los Angeles Gender Center. Shaunte Polk, the school's LGBTQ+ program administrator, says that students and community members donated over 1,500 items during Marshall's first trans closet clothing drive last year, and they're getting new donations all the time. Olson-Kennedy urges trans and non-binary people to contact their local LGBTQ+ resource center if they're interested in finding a clothing closet near them. read more...