PEI

Why P.E.I.'s queer community is having a clothing swap

A queer clothing exchange organized as part of P.E.I. Pride Week activities is an opportunity for people of all genders, shapes and sizes to swap clothing.

Pride Week event will provide 'safe place' for all genders to try new styles

The Queer Clothing Exchange will be held Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. in the UPEI Faculty Lounge in the main building. (Athitat Shinagowin/Shutterstock)

A queer clothing exchange organized as part of P.E.I. Pride Week activities is an opportunity for people of all genders, shapes and sizes to swap clothing. 

The event, from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the UPEI Faculty Lounge, is about scoring a coveted piece of clothing for free — and much more, say organizers. 

"Access to clothing is a big issue" in the LGBTQ community, said Cybelle Rieber, executive director of the PEERS Alliance. "There is lots of body image issues." 

The swap is "for people who may not have access to clothing that is in their size, or may not feel comfortable going to shop for clothing in the gender that they want," Rieber said.

"It's just another event during Pride Week to really be inclusive." 

'Safe place'

Trans men and non-binary people sometimes look for binders or underclothing that flattens breasts — which can be expensive. 

People 'may not feel comfortable going to shop for clothing in the gender that they want,' says Cybelle Reiber with the PEERS Alliance. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

It's also important for everyone to have space where they feel safe trying on clothes that don't fit their assigned gender at birth, Reiber said. 

"It creates a safe place for people to maybe begin to explore that or explore that more in depth." 

There is body-shaming in the queer community as there is in every community, Reiber said, and she said she hope it this will be a space where everyone can feel comfortable. 

"It's a community-building opportunity as well," she noted. "I'm sure there's going to be people show up and it'll be their first time meeting." 

You don't need to bring anything to the swap to be able to pick out a few things, she said. If the swap is successful it may continue in future, Reiber said.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Laura Chapin

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