By: Ashley Rose
On Nov. 28 and 29 from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m., the third annual Into the Closet Clothing Giveaway located in Fireside A and B will be held.
This event is being sponsored by the Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) and the Sustainability Club. Up until Nov. 6, the Out of the Closet Drive is taking place, and they are accepting clothing donations to go towards the event. These clothes can be donated in one of the various donation boxes located around campus, including the River Crossing community building, the Education and Arts building and the Administration building.
Donations can vary from any form of clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, dresses, athletic wear and more. Accessories are also being accepted, including socks, hats and gloves.
The philosophy behind the QSA-hosted clothing drive originally started as a clothing swap. Clothing swaps are held to encourage the trading of clothes, clear out some of what’s in the back of your closet and go home with a new item or two. Clothing swaps are a common practice in the queer community, as it creates an affordable way for individuals to access gender-affirming clothing. Accessing these styles of clothes can be difficult to do if someone is still closeted and not public with their gender identity.
By providing access to free clothes, the QSA is displaying the items entirely based on organization of size, not by gender. This upholds the option for individuals to explore all clothes available regardless of the assumed binary affiliated with the clothes.
“A clothing closet would not only make it more accessible for students who are exploring their gender or needing a safe, reliable way to receive gender-affirming clothes, it also serves as a way to provide resources to the community who may not be able to afford new clothes at this time,” QSA president Reagan Ayala states.
While this practice is common in the LGBTQ+ community, it is also very beneficial to low-income individuals, especially as the winter months approach. IU South Bend is the third-largest IU campus and the largest regional campus, yet there is no accessible clothing closet on campus for students in need. This conflict is what originally inspired the QSA to begin this event in 2021.