Clothing Swap and Gender Expression Fair happens tomorrow

By Kallie Cox, Staff Reporter

The Clothing Swap and Gender expression fair will be taking place Tuesday in the international lounge at 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Students can drop off or take home gently used clothing.

During the event, makeup tutorials and safe binding techniques will be taught as well.

Vernon Cooper, coordinator of the LGBTQ resource center, said students may want to explore new styles when they come to college or may want to play with their gender, but not be able to afford new clothing.


“The idea is that there are a lot of reasons a person would want to update their wardrobe,” Cooper said. “But we wanted to make sure that we stressed that this was an open and affirming event for folks to come and experiment with gender presentation.”

Cooper said makeup tutorials would be offered at the event for students who wanted to wear makeup but maybe never had someone to show them how to use it.

Karen Schauwecker, the sustainability coordinator on campus, said the Sustainability Office is co-sponsoring the event because collaboration is at the heart of sustainability on campus.

“We strive to work with others to infuse sustainability in all corners of campus,” Schauwecker said. “The idea of intersectionality speaks to the many layers behind the complex issues our society faces today.”

Schauwecker said the Sustainability Office is proud to work with the LGBTQ Resource Center to redirect resources to students that need them as they express their gender and identity.

“I’ve been told by students that it is difficult to find a new wardrobe as they are transitioning, and we hope that the swap aids them in that process,” Schauwecker said. “It is important that we support those students.”

Students can show up and rifle through the clothing, Cooper said. Volunteers will be on hand to assist them in learning how to tie a tie or apply makeup.


Cooper said if individuals would like to learn how to apply makeup they should bring their own and visit the various tutorial stations set up at the event.

Cooper said some of the most needed donation items at the event are garments of varying sizes, and feminine presenting garments.

“I want people to come and help me define the event,” Cooper said. “Help me think of things that I didn’t think of that might work. I will have music I’ll have pizza, I really want it to be more of a party than anything else where people feel free to play with their gender expression.”

Cooper said he hopes the fair will become an annual event, and he plans to do it as long as he is at SIU.

“If this is a valuable event, I would like to continue to host clothing swaps,” Schauwecker said. “If the students feel that they want more of these events, we would be happy to support that.”

Schauwecker said she encourages people to attend the event in order to support the LGBTQ community.

“In the process, we can think about the full life cycle of our belongings,” Schauwecker said. “What resources did it take to create them and what should we do with them when we no longer want or need them.”

Other organizations sponsoring this event are the Women’s Resource Center and the Hispanic/Latino Resource Center.

Staff reporter Kallie Cox can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @KallieC45439038.

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