This week read about transgender people receiving free gender-affirming clothes from the Transgender Assistance Program of Virginia, and Jalen McKee-Rodriguez becoming the first gay Black man elected to any office in Texas.
Clothing Assistance Program Affirms Trans Identities
Trans individuals all over the state of Virginia are finding free, gender-affirming clothing in a care package program helmed by the Transgender Assistance Program of Virginia (TAP VA).
TAP VA Director of Development Sarah Noffsinger said the program is an alternative to an in-person closet the organization ran before the pandemic. In the few days since opening the online option, Noffsinger said they’ve received over 36 orders.
Noffsinger told the Virginian-Pilot, “There is such a need for trans people to have clothing that they feel comfortable in and that they feel aligns with not only their gender identity, but their gender expression as well.”
When Noffsinger gets a notification that someone has filled out the Google form, she and her wife hand-pick the pieces at Nomads Clothing Exchange in Norfolk based on sizing and styling needs, and ship five to seven pieces per order at no cost to the program participants.
The site will be open from the 1st to the 10th of each month, with the rest of the month used to fill orders and restock the online closet. New arrivals will be added to the website July 1.
First Gay Man Elected to San Antonio City Council
Jalen McKee-Rodriguez. Photo via Facebook.
Twenty-six-year-old math teacher Jalen McKee-Rodriguez will represent District 2 for the San Antonio City Council, making him the first openly gay Black man elected to any office in Texas history.
In 2019, Mckee-Rodriguez left his job as communications director for incumbent councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan, filing a complaint against her chief-of-staff over claims of discrimination and harassment. An investigation was launched, but no action was taken by the city. After facing her in a run-off election last week, McKee-Rodriguez unseated Andrews-Sullivan with 63% of the vote compared to Andrews-Sullivan's 37%.
Robert Salcido Jr., executive director of Pride Center San Antonio, told KSAT News, “It is historic to see a Black, out and a proud gay candidate like Jalen McKee-Rodriguez be elected to the San Antonio City Council. At a time when racism, homophobia, and other issues disproportionately affect people of color and LGBTQ+ people, Jalen will bring unique perspectives based on lived experiences never before represented in San Antonio.”