The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Transformative Healing’s ‘queer’ thrift shop

The Queer Thrift Shop will be in the Englert on the afternoon of June 16.
The Daily Iowan; Photos by Lily
Previous Queer Thrift Shop Pop Ups have been hosted at RADinc. File photo (The Daily Iowan/Lily Smith)

The Iowa City community will have the opportunity to experience a unique way to be thrifty as part of Pride Month activities.

The Queer Thrift Shop Pop-Up, hosted by Transformative Healing, will take place at the Englert, 221 E. Englert St., from 1 to 6 p.m. on June 16.

“We’re taking the traditional thrift shop, and we’re ‘queering’ it,” said Kimberly Andresen-Reed, the executive director of Transformative Healing. “So instead of having a men’s section and a women’s section, and clothing that is split along that binary, we actually measure the clothing before and lay it out accordingly versus by a gender assumption. That way, people can go with the clothing that works for them and that fits their expression.”

RELATED: Queer Thrift Shop Pop-Up selling clothes for a cause

Andresen-Reed said the act of “queering” this experience will allow the event to better serve as a secure environment for all of those who identify as part of the LGBTQ community.

“Shopping can be a pretty unsafe place for somebody, especially if they are nonconforming and going outside of that binary system,” she said.

The pop-up shop is a fundraiser for Transformative Healing, a nonprofit organization that focuses on LGBTQ survivors of sexual violence. The organization lost 90 percent of its funding this past year, forcing the staff to seek support to make sure the work continues.

“Most of the fundraisers we had this year were just community members reaching out and saying that ‘we want to do this,’ ” Andresen-Reed said. “I have really seen a level of mobilization where people are just taking whatever skills and resources they have and using that to positively affect the environment around them.”

Transformative Healing intern Janice Sinclair resonates with local residents’ enthusiasm about the event.

“I am currently working toward a degree in social work, and I really support what this organization is about,” Sinclair said. “I am truly passionate about advocacy work and victims’ services, especially human sexualities and the queer-specific community.”

The Queer Thrift Shop Pop-Up is not only a site to browse for clothing, it’s a place to begin the healing process of past trauma.

“If somebody needs support or wants advocacy in a private setting, then they can come inside to speak with someone,” Andresen-Reed said.

Iowa City Pride board member Nolan Petersen said in an email to The Daily Iowan that Pride is working to include more safe places like the Queer Thrift Shop Pop-Up, but the development takes time.

RELATED: Iowa City earns A+ for LGBTQ inclusion

“Iowa City Pride has actively sought out the voices, opinions, and concerns of the wider community over the last two years and has been working toward meaningful change in inclusive practices, internal diversity, and representation,” Petersen said. “That is both a long road and one which is not always easy for an organization to walk in a town which is predominately white, cis, and conventionally able-bodied.”

For those who are interested in volunteering, Transformative Healing is looking for people to assist with setting up and tearing down, sorting clothing, as well as helping by answering any questions people may have. The volunteer sessions are set up in one-hour increments.

All items are welcome, but “any ridiculous and awesome clothes” are preferred, said Andresen-Reed. People can drop off donations at RVAP’s office, 332 S. Linn St. No. 100.

The Queer Thrift Shop Pop-Up, Andresen-Reed said, “is an action of activism to take up space as queer people and to be out and loud in that way. We are creating something that wasn’t there before.”



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