Every year in November, Rowan University’s Office of Social Justice, Inclusion and Conflict Resolution (SJICR) pays tribute to the transgender community with a national week-long observance known as Transgender Awareness Week. As with Pride Week in April and National Coming Out Week in October, Rowan’s Transgender Awareness Week is made to shed light on issues that affect the transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming community of Rowan University and abroad.
To kick things off, True Colors, an organization housed within SJICR, held their annual Transgender Clothing Swap. From Nov. 1 through Nov. 11, students at Rowan were asked to donate gently-worn clothes to the SJICR in preparation of the Clothing Swap. This annual event was started in the spring of 2015, with only two small tables full of clothes. True Colors saw a big turnout regarding the number of attendees and donations.
Liz Ditzel, a graduate advisor of True Colors, was one of the main coordinators of Monday night’s clothing swap.
“We started it as a way to give a resource to trans students at Rowan who might be transitioning or looking for clothing that better fits who they feel they are,” Ditzel said. “Transitioning like that can be expensive. Medical transition itself is super expensive, but even if you don’t medically transition, getting more clothing is just an added cost.”
Transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming students were given first dibs at picking out clothes during the first half hour. After that, others were free to join in.
“I really liked seeing other trans people,” said junior Sandro Torres. “I really liked seeing all the available clothes they had for me.”
The clothes were organized separately on the basis of which ones were the most feminine and which were the most masculine. Some tables even offered shoes, hats and belts. Clothes leftover from the event will be donated to homeless LGBTQIA+ youth.
True Colors meets every Monday night from 7-9 p.m. at Hawthorn Hall, room 204.
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