Gender-Neutral boutique, Out-Fitters, comes to campus for a test run - Alexandria Turby, Statesman
This project was funded by an ISU Art Gallery grant proposal for $500. The grant funded the racks and other hardware for the pop-up store but Moore has also put his own money into the project.
“The goal of the project is to provide students with gender free clothing. To offer free and accessible androgynous and gender inclusive options that better reflect peoples’ personal gender identities,” Moore said.
The clothes were donated and are available for free at the launch and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day until Friday May 11.
“It’s presented in a way that is like a high-end boutique and not a traditional Salvation Army or Goodwill style so that it makes these people feel important and valued so that is a designed experience. This is all focused to express that they are normal and they can have access to the same experiences that traditionally gendered people do,” Moore said.
Moore said that he believes that a lot of people don’t feel represented and included and that this project is to give those people a place to be who they are.
“Clothes don’t change the world but the person that wears them might,” Moore said. “I don’t care who you are, when you put on a suit, you act and carry yourself differently and people will treat you differently. It’s the same as when you wear a T-shirt or a scarf. What you wear affects how you go through the world and how you are treated. Allowing people to feel comfortable with what they wear allows them the confidence to feel better and express themselves more freely.”
Moore said that there is research to back that misrepresented people will act and feel different when they are unable to express themselves. When they can express themselves they have lower risks of mental heath issues, and are more likely to make better decisions.
“The idea is not new. There are places in San Francisco and Chicago that cater specifically to queer people but this is the first one here in the area designed to provide this kind of experience at such a high-end aesthetic,” Moore said. “I was inspired a lot by a class that focuses on public health and public art and how art can influence the way we live and our decision-making. That helped me to design how the project works and how I go about accomplishing my goals.”
Moore hand-designed the tags and bags with a stamp to make the store as polished as he wanted.
“All of the design is very intentional,” Moore said. “In using the typeface, it was designed in such a way that it doesn’t have a gender. The drybrush script that I use is firm but it is still handwritten which is both masculine and feminine which is telling of the project. Branding is very important and designers are like the gatekeepers to branding. We get to decide what things look like and why they are effective. Using the black and white is a play on the gender binary and using these colors allows people to read it as masculine or feminine as they want. The grey represents the mix or the androgyny.”
The clothes left over will be used in the next iteration of the pop-up shop. Moore’s goal is to have an event at the fountain in the fall semester and involve more people. He is also looking into a partnership with the textiles, apparel and merchandising program to create ready-to-wear pieces that are intentionally androgynous in nature.
“If your gender doesn’t conform, why should your clothes?” Moore said.
Drop of Lavender - Kayla Rogan, Statesman
The LGBTQ community hosted a summit for students on Saturday at 9 a.m. in the Hulman Memorial Student Union, to promote inclusivity.
Many students gathered around to be in an area and space to feel comfortable about their sexuality. Most importantly, they wanted a sense of belonging and respect at Indiana State University.
Some of the people who attended were allies of the LGBTQ community. Allies are people who are the voice and the support of this community. This kind of person is usually heterosexual. They are the ones doing their research on the community, and they help with pushing equal rights for them.
“To have an education on the LGBTQ community. It important for this community to make them feel inclusive, and respect them as human beings. We want ISU to know that we are here, and there are people out there who are concerned with the LGBTQ community,” said Zach Moore, the summit coordinator.
There were many sessions on learning about the LGBTQ community. One of the sessions involved a privilege test. This test consists of many different questions pertaining to race, class, sex, religion and sexual orientation. Each person stood in a straight line holding hands. The person who was in charge asked different questions. If it pertain to them they either had to move a step forward or a step backwards. Many of them broke hands because of the distance they had with each other.
One of the questions asked “Do you feel safe walking down the street at night.” Many of the people step backwards because no one felt safe. After the test was over with, nobody was in the straight line anymore. Some of the people were in the front, and some were in the back. The people turned and looked at their peers to see where their ending position was.
“The privilege test was used to show what kind of privilege people have, regardless of their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation,” Moore said. “It gives a visual representation on where people start, and where they might finished.”
In addition, people had a discussion on how they felt about the privilege test. Many of them were surprised where their ending point was. Some of them did not believed in how much privilege that they had over each other. There were some who were not surprised where their ending position was.
There were a few people who chose to sit out because of their personal beliefs.
Towards the end of the summit, there was discussion panel. Everyone formed groups to talk about their identity. They talked about the many struggles they had when coming out to their families. Some of their families were fine with it, but there were some who did not agree with their decision.
Many of them believed people did not agree with their sexuality because of traditional values. They wished that people would just accept them for who they are and change their traditional values.
Every day, the LGBTQ continues to expand with different identities. Hopefully this summit brought awareness to the ISU community, because they need a sense of belongingness here just like everyone else.