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Gender-affirming closet at Missouri high school gets $10K grant so LBGTQ students can wear clothes that reflect their gender identities without parents knowing

A gender-affirming closet is moving forward at a Missouri high school, and officials and advocates say it will allow LGBTQ students to wear clothes at school that reflect their gender identities, especially if they don’t feel comfortable wearing such clothes at home.

What are the details?

Columbia Public Schools Board of Education accepted and approved a $10,000 grant Monday to create the gender-affirming closet at Rock Bridge High School, KMIZ-TV reported, adding that the money will come from the It Gets Better Project.

The closet would include clothing for LGBTQ+ students who might not feel comfortable wearing gender-affirming clothes at home, the station said in a previous story about the closet.

The high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance told the station it hopes the closet will create a more welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ students and perhaps lead to the district’s three other high schools to create similar closets.

The group planned to spend $8,000 on clothing, $1,000 on closet furnishing, $500 for makeup, and $500 for inventory management, KMIZ said.

The school board previously tabled the grant application so students and district administrators could have more time to perfect the application, KMIZ said in an April story.

Gay-Straight Alliance members said previously they were concerned about parental pushback on the closet.

Not the first one

The gender-affirming closet concept is not exclusive to Rock Bridge High School; similar projects have been springing up at schools around the country.

A Daily Caller video about the issue includes a clip of an apparent California teacher saying “the goal of the transition closet is for our students to wear the clothes that their parents approve of, come to school, and then swap out into the clothes that fit who they truly are.”

The teacher adds that “I use the idea that this is like Superman changing in a phone booth. But that idea actually goes a lot further than that. Because Superman isn’t Clark Kent; Clark Kent is actually the disguise. And when Clark Kent goes into the phone booth, he transforms into Superman, who is really just who he truly is, Kal-El. And so this gives our trans students the opportunity to be the superheroes that we know they are.”

Teacher Says He’s Bringing ‘Transition Closet’ To High School Classroom