The University of Nevada, Reno’s Gender, Race and Identity club is hosting its own Gender Affirming Charity throughout the month of February. Students, faculty, staff and anyone else interested may donate clothing items to support the university’s LGBTQ+ community.
The GRI club will be accepting lightly worn gender-neutral clothing with no stains or significant wear to them. Masculine and feminine clothing pieces are also accepted as donations. The GRI club is seeking out plus-size clothing, too, since the majority of donations have been of straight sizes.
Donations may include shoes, sanitized jewelry, new makeup and hairstyling products. Additionally, the club is accepting monetary donations which will go towards new chest-binders, packers and other intimate gender-affirming items.
“Gender-neutral clothing can be any clothing that doesn’t have an assigned gender. Sweatpants are gender-neutral because they don’t have an assigned gender, and anyone can wear them,” said Indigo Hinojos, co-founder of the club.
Donation boxes can be found in the Multicultural Center, located on the third floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union and the GRI suite in the Thompson Building in Room 106. Additionally, seven boxes are spread across each on-campus housing facility.
Hinojos was inspired by UC Davis’ own Gender Affirming Charity after a trip to the university with the McNair Scholars program. Following the trip, Hinojos and fellow club staff quickly decided to start up their own charity on campus.
“Something really cool about a lot of the UC schools is that they have really good resources for students,” said Hinojos. “UC Davis has an LGBTQ center and within the center they have a gender affirming closet.”
Hinojos also hopes this event will help teach empathy to others outside of the LGBTQ+ community, inviting more conversation not only on the student, faculty and administrator levels.
“I am a non-binary identifying student and haven’t been able to afford certain things,” said Hinojos. “I have friends who can’t go out and buy clothing they feel comfortable in because their families watch their bank accounts.”
Stating there aren’t many campus resources for LGBTQ+ members, Hinojos’ intent with the Gender Affirming Charity and the founding of the GRI club is to create a safe space for both students and faculty to express their identities, connect and converse.
The GRI club has grown significantly since its founding in late 2019, which has in turn allowed for conversations surrounding gender and identity to grow as they’ve worked with bigger departments, other clubs, fraternities and sororities. Hinojos added they enjoy being a “walking resource” on campus and a help to freshmen who may have found the transition from homelife to college intimidating.
“We’ve filled every box we’ve put out so far. I’m hoping we continue to grow,” said Hinojos.
The Gender Affirming Charity is also working its way into the Reno community with hopes to have a tabling session with Planned Parenthood—the largest place supplying hormones in Reno and Northern Nevada. The GRI club strives to have conversations with Our Center, the local LGBTQ+ center.
Other clubs which are involved in this campus project are O-stem, the Grad-Queer Collective, the Queer-Leadership Advisory Board, the E-Board for the Queer Student Union, the Multicultural Center and the GRI department.
Summer Steinsrud can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.