“Gender Affirming Closet” will feature clothing for LGBTQ students


Cal State Fullerton’s LGBT Queer Resource Center is opening the Gender Affirming Closet to provide a free on-campus dress resource for transgender, non-binary, and non-gender-compliant students.

“The Gender Affirming Closet is a resource where students can feel empowered to express themselves authentically,” said Nat Betancourt Arellano, coordinator of the LGBT Queer Resource Center.

The Gender Affirmation Closet, centrally located in Room 189 of the Pollak Library, will be operational this fall semester from Friday September 3. Students will be able to access the closet by appointment through the centre’s website or during opening hours on Fridays, with times to be specified.

Nat Betancourt Arellano
Nat Betancourt Arellano

Betancourt Arellano discusses the need for this resource on campus.

Why open the gender affirmation closet on campus?

The Gender Affirming Closet provides safe and inclusive opportunities for gay students to find clothing. Many transgender and gender nonconforming people can experience prejudice, harassment and embarrassment when shopping for clothing in public; they may be examined for purchasing clothes that do not “match” their gender. Additionally, individuals may often not be able to freely purchase clothes that best match their expression due to fear of being rejected by their home environment. We are addressing this issue so that the intersectional queer student body of Cal State Fullerton has access to clothing without gender discrimination and shame. While gender identity is an internal experience, gender expression is a way for queer people to manifest their creativity and identity. By providing clothing options, we hope to allow queer students freedom of expression.

What clothes and other wardrobe items will be available?

The majority, if not all, of the clothes in the gender affirming closet will come from donations. Donations are strongly encouraged; however, the centre’s website will explain what type of clothing we currently accept, do not currently accept, and never accept. Clothes that are stained, torn and of poor quality will never be accepted. Depending on what we have in stock in our wardrobe, we may charge less for a certain type of clothing. Other categories of clothing are jackets, dresses, shirts, blouses, jeans, leggings, open button shirts, shoes and satchels of all sizes. Binders are used to flatten someone’s chest with the help of a building material in order to feel more comfortable with their body. When donating, the clothes will be classified by type of clothing, followed by size.

What is the process for students to purchase clothes?

While the gender affirmation closet will operate, in general, on a “fair on equality” approach, we also want to make sure that as many students as possible have access to our stock. For this reason, we will allow students to bring back up to two outfits per month for free. The center will not monitor students regarding the parameters of an “outfit”. Students will be asked to use their own system of discretion and honor to define for themselves what will constitute an outfit. We ask people to consider the entire queer student body on the CSUF campus, as they all have the right to use the gender affirmation closet as well.

For more information or to donate clothing, visit the LGBT Queer Resource Center website or contact Nat Betancourt Arellano at natbetancourt@fullerton.edu.

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