Trying on clothes in a dressing room is fairly easy for most, but for the transgender community, it can be unnerving and uncomfortable. That’s why Margie’s Hope, a Northeast Ohio based organization dedicated to assisting transgender and nonbinary people in need, created a clothing store specifically designed for the LGBTQ community.
Margie’s Closet, which opened in June, is the first clothing store in Ohio directly marketed towards transgender and genderfluid youth and adults. Manager Jacob Nash knows that these kinds of resources are long overdue. “Something as small as a dressing room can make all the difference in the world to some people,” he says.
Plans to open Margie’s Closet began last February, when Nash got word of many LGBTQ individuals looking for a place to donate their clothes that would benefit the trans community. From there, the idea of Margie’s Closet was born: a gender-inclusive, mutually beneficial and community-supported clothing store located in Studio West 117, a new hub for the LGBTQ community. Similar to a thrift store, clothes are collected and displayed on large circular racks and along the walls. There are no women’s or men’s sections.
“When you walk into the store, there’s no gender on the clothing,” says Nash, “we only have the sizes displayed, because clothing doesn’t have a gender.” Margie’s Closet provides gender-inclusive bathrooms and dressing rooms, and a $25 clothing voucher program to transgender and nonbinary people in need. “It’s more than just a store,” says Nash. “This is a place for people to come in and have conversation, whether they’re transgender or not.”