Web Crush Wednesdays: transclothesswap

webcrush picBeing trans in today’s day and age is difficult enough. If you’re sure about your own identity as a child, your parents might not believe you, and as adults, people who identify as trans are met with disbelief and confusion if they’re lucky; outright discrimination and transphobia if they’re not. The murder and violence statistics alone for trans people are terrifying, and if you’re a trans person of color, well, you’re pretty much out of luck.

But we’re making some progress. Even though the media hasn’t quite wrapped their collective heads around the idea of calling people by their preferred names and pronouns, there are people who are starting to realize that trans people should have all the rights and privileges as do all human beings, even if some jerkfaces don’t think so. Enter Tumblr’s newest initiative: transclothesswap.

transclothesswap is exactly what it says on the tin: it’s an online community where transgender people can trade clothing with other transgender people, thus ensuring that no one has to buy an entirely new wardrobe to match the gender that they are. From their main page:

Finding clothes as a trans person can be really hard. Sometimes you can’t go shopping with friends or family, sometimes you’re not out, sometimes you don’t have the money. This is a place where transgender people can swap/exchange clothing and receive donations.

The amount of people who have gotten in on this is amazingly gratifying—transclothesswap now has sister sites and international affiliates, for people who aren’t North America-based. Accessories, makeup, and clothes of all sorts are accepted. The one controversial aspect of this website seems to be their restrictions on who can receive clothing: trans and nongender/genderfluid people can accept things, while cis-identifying people can’t; that seems pretty par for the course. However, transclothesswap also states that crossdressers can only participate in this exchange if they feel they really need the clothes to feel comfortable, and that seems like a specification that could easily turn into a judgement of how quote-unquote trans a person really is. Being trans already means that one will almost certainly have to deal with their fair share of problems, and I hope this site helps alleviate these problems, instead of making them worse by passing judgement on the veracity of one’s gender identity.

It may only be a small step forward in the larger scale of things, but transclothesswap is a useful resource for trans, genderfluid, and nongender people who have recently transitioned or for cis people who want to donate to a good cause. You can find transclothesswap on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.