Pop-up boutique on MLK Day of Service to clothe trans youth

By Liz Massey - Jan. 15, 2015

As part of the Martin Luther King Day of Service in Phoenix, Human Rights Campaign Arizona and Rebel & Divine United Church of Christ (UCC) are partnering with employees from Coca-Cola to create a boutique for homeless and at-risk transgender youth to select and try on clothing that matches their gender identity.

The event will take place Jan. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at First Congregational UCC, 1407 N. Second St. in Phoenix. The three organizations will work together to transform a church classroom into a safe space for homeless and at-risk trans and genderqueer youth to “shop” for and try on clothing, and pick up other items they may need.

According to Gary Brewer, co-chair of HRC Arizona’s community outreach and diversity committee, the national office of HRC had been encouraging local affiliates to work on Martin Luther King Day of Service initiatives involving homeless queer youth for the past several years.

This year, Brewer said, HRC Arizona’s leadership was able to work with the other two organizations to craft an event that will involve several of the community outreach committee’s “pillar” constituencies, including the faith/religious community, the trans community and the corporate community of Phoenix.

“It’s incredible that we’ve blended [the involvement of] our pillar communities this year,” he said. “We’re hitting the trans and faith communities head on; to be able to involve the corporate community, too, that feels tremendous.”

Coca-Cola plans to have a rally this month to kick off a clothing drive to stock the boutique and may also have volunteers working at the event. HRC Arizona will provide volunteers to run the boutique Jan. 19.

Rebel & Divine UCC, which has a mission to serve the Valley’s LGBT homeless and at-risk youth, will provide youth volunteers who will be working on a mural – one which incorporates the transgender flag and the Rebel & Divine logo – at the boutique site on the First Congregational campus, according to Rev. Jeffrey Dirrim, founding pastor and executive director of the church.

According to Dirrim, the focus of providing a safe place to try on clothing congruent with a trans youth’s gender identity became a priority after his organization hosted prom events for youth who attend Sunday night dinners with the church. Adding that he had gone clothes shopping with trans youth who wanted to attend the prom, and was “upset and disturbed” by what he saw them go through.

“I was mortified by their experiences – they experienced belittlement at best at the shops we went to,” he said.

By contrast, he noted, when Rebel & Divine gave the prom-attending youth a place to try on outfits, the change in the trans participants’ physical demeanor when they were able to wear something that looked wonderful on them was striking.

“I didn’t realize until that moment how important that was,” he recalled. “That’s what we’re creating – that’s what I want to give to the youth who attend this event.”

Brewer agreed that the event would create an important experience for young trans attendees.

“Every person deserves the dignity of having a space where they can try on clothes that express their identity,” he said.

Additionally, Brewer said community members interested in donating clothing for the Jan. 19 boutique event could bring them to First Congregational UCC during the event.


Martin Luther King Day of Service in Phoenix

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 19

First Congregational UCC

1407 N. Second St., Phoenix

Sign up to volunteer at hrc.org/events/entry/mlk-day-of-service-in-phoenix or email gary@hrcarizona.org.

Keep readingShow less
WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less