Dozens of students rifled through piles of clothing sorted by size, not gender, last Friday at the first on-campus Queer and Trans Clothing Exchange hosted by UR Grassroots and the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center.
Though Grassroots hosts a clothing exchange every month, this was the first time the group held one specifically for transgender and non-conforming individuals.
Senior and Grassroots Clothing Exchange Chair Andie Burkey organized the event, inspired after her participation in RIT’s end-of-year student sale, “Goodbye Goodbuy.”
“They had a lot of clothes left over that they said I could take because they knew I was the clothing exchange chair for U of R,” Burkely said. “I took like twenty bags of clothes, specifically to put on an event like this.”
UR students donated both their clothes and time, assisting in moving boxes, putting all the clothing into neat piles, and helping students find specific styles they were interested in.
“It was really exciting to see how wide a range of items there were, so people wouldn’t be excluded if they came to this event,” Burkey added.
Turtlenecks, sweatpants, colorful skirts, and blouses were all available. A large clothing rack filled with jackets and dresses took up the right side of the room, along with piles of accessories such as nail polish, scarves, and belts of various shapes and sizes.
No pile was left unturned, as people searched for hidden treasures—a leather mini dress or black Vera Wang flats.
“This is the first year, and hopefully not the last,” Burkley said.