The Q Clothing Closet held their first pop-up event of the school year last week in the Cross Cultural and Gender Center (CCGC) located in the Thomas Building, Room 110A.
Students attending the event were able to choose up to 10 free items from an array of casual and formal clothing, shoes, makeup and more.
Offices within the CCGC became fitting rooms for students. These rooms were sanitized between uses.
The Q Clothing Closet is a resource intended to provide free clothing to Fresno State students in need. It was created with particular emphasis in providing for transgender, queer or gender-nonconforming individuals who may otherwise feel unsafe or uncomfortable seeking out clothes.
Eli Munton, a second-year student who attended the event, explained that sometimes a closeted individual may not feel comfortable going to a public store yet. The Q Clothing Closet provides a safe and welcoming alternative.
“Even if you can’t go out in public, you can still feel like yourself. And some of these [clothes] are professional, so it can help people who are transitioning to get jobs,” Munton said.
Margarito Campos Gatica, vice president of the Fresno State’s Women’s Alliance, volunteered at the Q Clothing Closet to assist attendees.
“There were so many people, it’s been amazing. Even if they don’t take something, a lot of people said they wanted to donate,” Gatica said.
The Q Clothing Closet is currently in need of donations from students and staff. Individuals who choose to donate should contact LGBTQ+ Programs and Services for a drop-off appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visitors are encouraged to donate clothes, shoes, unopened makeup, unused underwear and/or accessories.
The Q Clothing Closet was founded in 2018 by Fresno State’s LGBTQ+ Programs and Services of the Cross Cultural and Gender Center in partnership with the Career Development Center. However, it was soon put on pause due to COVID-19.
Despite various attempts to operate throughout the pandemic by Estevan Parra, two-time Fresno State alumni and the Cross Cultural and Gender Center’s current LGBTQ+ Programs and Services Coordinator, the closet was unable to return in-person until recently.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community himself, Parra sees the Q Clothing Closet as an essential resource for LGBTQ+ students.
“My favorite part of the Q Clothing Closet is to see students walk in, grab those high heels,
that dress, those pants, that makeup. And one thing I noticed is, they didn’t look back. They were not watching their back. And that’s how you know we’re doing this right,” Parra said.
The Q Clothing Closet is currently only available during scheduled pop-up events due to COVID-19.
The next planned date is Oct. 27. More information will be available through the Cross Cultural and Gender Center social media accounts in coming weeks.
The Cross Cultural and Gender Center is available to all students and offers various programs for African American, American Indian, Asian Pacific Islander, Cross Cultural, Gender, Latino/a, Leadership Development and LGBTQ+ programs.
Other provided services are peer support, resource referrals, prayer/quiet rooms, support/discussion groups, study spaces and social spaces.
The CCGC also hosts a bi-weekly discussion group called “Queer Talks,” which is centered around LGBTQ+ students and allies.
The next meeting will be Thursday, Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the TLC Pride Room 109B in the CCGC.