Q Clothing Pop-Up helping students and community in need

Fresno State Q clothing closet offers a variety of free clothing, shoes and accessories for transgender and non-forming students in the Thomas Building on Thursday, March 5, 2020. Photo by: Leticia Leal

The Q Clothing Closet served the transgender and gender-nonconforming students on campus and anyone else in need of free clothing, shoes or accessories on March 5.

The pop-up was held in Fresno State’s Thomas Building and provided casual clothing for students who can’t afford it, the ones who have no transportation or may not feel safe shopping in public. 

The center was created in 2017, built off of donations and partnerships with Fresno State’s Career Development Center. The pop-up happens three times a semester. Shoes, pants, dresses, accessories, unused makeup, underwear and transgender resources are free to any students and community members. 

“We are just trying to find clothes that we’re comfortable in, regardless of our size and the shapes of our bodies,” said Fresno State student Daniel Love, who has transitioned from female to male. “This is the only place on campus where people feel comfortable and included. They don’t have to worry about their gender identity or sexual orientation.”

Love said he slowly figured out his gender identity and sexual orientation, describing the pop-up as the most inclusive place with all the resources that students can possibly need. 

Fresno State student Kiana Medina is the graduate coordinator of the Cross Cultural and Gender Center. 

“This program is like my baby,” Medina said. 

Thinking about a student’s needs and how they can be as successful as possible is of most importance to the Q Closet. Many students are wearing clothes that don’t fit or conform to their gender identity. 

Medina said clothing can be a barrier for students’ success, especially if they are transgender or nonconforming.

“If students are starting their closet from the bottom up, with clothes that match their gender identity, that is a lot of clothes that you have to build,” Medina said. “Food insecurity is a huge issue on campus, if we have this huge population of students who can’t feed themselves, how do we expect them to clothe themselves?”

There is a five-item limit each time a student comes in, no matter how many times the student comes in during the semester. 

At checkout, a student ID is used for data purposes. There is an anonymous option if the individual is not a student or if you do not feel comfortable swiping in. They would then take an assessment to describe that person’s needs.

The assessment shows 97 percent of the individuals who come into the space have reported having clothing insecurity, and 45 percent of them identify as LGBTQ+.

The program is partnered with Fresno EOC Sanctuary LGBTQ Resource Center for anyone who may have a transportation issue. There is a bus for individuals in Downtown Fresno that provides free transportation. Community members can come to the Q Clothing Closet for every single pop-up.

“A lot of the time when we talk about basic needs, we leave out this basic need for this community,” said Medina, who pointed out that many students are physically unable to shop due to stress, fear and the anxiety of public shopping. 

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