Queer Thrift Shop pop-up selling clothes for a cause

Queer Thrift Shop pop-up raises money for RVAP and Transformative Healing while selling clothing in a non-gender environment.


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Lily

Previous Queer Thrift Shop Pop Ups have been hosted at RADinc. File photo (The Daily Iowan/Lily Smith)

Julia DiGiacomo, [email protected]


A thrift shop pop-up raises money for sexual-violence advocacy organizations while creating a welcoming space for individuals of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

Transformative Healing and Rape Victim Advocacy Program’s Queer Thrift Shop pop-up will take place today and this weekend at RADinc, 123 E. Washington St.

The hours are 2:30-8:30 p.m. today, 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday, and 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sept. 24. Proceeds will benefit the two nonprofit organizations.

For the past seven to eight weeks, the groups have been collecting gently used clothing from donors to be sold. Some of the features of the event today will be the sale of LGBT-theme art, raffle tickets for a door prize, and an invitation to decorate the sidewalk around RADinc. At 7 p.m. Saturday, there will be a community discussion and potluck. Sept. 24 will include a plant sale.

RELATED: Health professionals move on LGBTQ issues

The idea for the queer thrift shop pop-up came from Kimberly Andresen-Reed, the executive director of Transformative Healing. “We serve LGBTQIA survivors of sexual violence across Iowa,” she said.

Andresen-Reed described her organization as advocating for survivors throughout the healing process with talking, peer counseling, therapy, and providing a safe space.

“We also offer training for other organizations such as medical providers or community organizations,” she said.

The Democratic Socialists of America in Iowa City have also recruited volunteers and assisted with the queer thrift shop.

“Organizations are often the first and last line to assist with survivors,” said Rose Fiala, co-chair of the Democratic Socialists of Iowa City. “Transformative Healing especially, which specializes in LGBT issues, is such an important resource that covers a lot of ground.”

Andresen-Reed said Transformative Healing used to have an office in Des Moines as well but because of funding cuts is now just located in Iowa City at the Wesley Center.

RELATED: RVAP faces looming budget problems

RVAP also suffered from federal and state cuts to victim services this summer. As a result, RVAP’s 24-hour sexual abuse hotline serving eight Iowa counties was defunded. The line, which can be reached at 800-284-7821, is now being kept up by a smaller staff and volunteers.

“The fundraiser is partly what Transformative Healing has to do to keep the doors open, but it also provides an essential service,” Fiala said.

“The thrift shop not only provides a fundraiser for us but serves the community needs of LGBT people, especially those who are gender nonconforming, transgender, or gender variant,” Andresen-Reed said.

The clothes in the store will be organized by size but not by gender.

“The purpose is to acknowledge that the clothing industry is gendered and binary,” said Adam Robinson, the executive director of RVAP. “We want to shed light on the great many who don’t fit that.”

RELATED: UISG supports RVAP by matching donations

Robinson said they will have volunteers with screen prints and sewing machines at the shop in order to alter any clothing and make it their own.

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