Clothing Swaps Can Be a Lifeline for Queer and Trans People, by @sianfergs

Cross-posted from: Sian Fergs
Originally published: 17.10.17

Leaving behind high price tags and uncomfortable fitting rooms, clothing swaps are all about community.

Last year Wiley, a trans man, organized a large clothing swap among his friends and community. Although it wasn’t exclusive to queer and trans people, most of the attendees were queer or trans. According to people who came to the swap, what happened there was magical.

Years before, when he was starting to dress in a masculine style, Wiley struggled to afford new clothing, but received a donation of masculine clothing from a trans woman. Now that he had more clothing, he was happy to pass these items on to other butch and masculine-of-center people. The clothing swap included clothing for fat people, a group that often struggles to find comfortable clothing. Books and beauty products were added to the exchange. Wiley himself even acquired a beloved Dave Matthews Band long-sleeved T-shirt. The leftover clothing was donated to worthy causes, like the Boys and Girls Club.

For years, clothing exchanges like the one Wiley organized have provided an important space for LGBT people. The exchanges give queer and trans people access to clothing that helps them express their gender identity and orientation. …


This article was first published by Racked. You can find the full article here.


Sian Ferguson : An intersectional feminist blog tackling issues from a unique South African perspective. The posts attempt to explain and discuss some academic feminist theories in a simple manner, so as to make feminism accessible to more people. Follow me on Twitter @sianfergs