The Penn State Clothing Transit is a community effort started in partnership with the student organization 3rd Way Collective, the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and Lutheran Campus Ministry. Through the support of the Philip N. Knutson Endowment along with a gift in memory of former Penn State student Eli Roe, the Center for Sexual and Gender worked diligently to open the Clothing Transit as one of their new on-going signature programs during the spring 2018 semester. As part of the program structure, a new student intern position in the Center was created to staff and support the operation of the space.
The Clothing Transit is an opportunity for members of the queer and trans community to exchange clothing and accessories, including shoes, bags, hats, and jewelry – all free of cost. The intention of the Clothing Transit is to provide trans and gender non-conforming students with the freedom to comfortably find clothing that reflects their gender expression and identity without the discomfort of shopping in a traditional clothing store.
Clothing Transit Hours
For more information on the Clothing Transit , please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. During the Spring 2020 semester, the Clothing Transit will be open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m . Stop by the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity in LL011 HUB and let a staff member know that you would like to look at the Clothing Transit. We would be happy to take you there.
To Get Clothes
Stop by the Clothing Transit in 24 Ritenour Building during staffed hours or set up an appointment with the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity.
To Give Clothes
Please drop off any donations at the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity in 101 Boucke Building during normal business hours.
Below you will learn more about the funding that made this new resource and space a possibility for our community.
Short Biography of Eli Roe
Eli Roe (who also used his birth name, Miriam) was a student at Penn State from 2013 to 2016, specializing in Rehabilitation and Human Services. As a senior in high school, Eli came to realize his transgender identity, and so he knew from personal experience how important it is for trans individuals to be able to express their identity through clothing. After Eli’s death in 2016, funds from his estate were given to support the Transgender Clothing Transit at the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity at Penn State University Park.
Eli’s life was marked by compassion for others and love of justice. He worked for the Arc of Centre County supporting the needs of clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He was gifted with creativity and loved making historical costumes and helping high school students to sew garb for the Renaissance Faire. He enjoyed playing the piano and expressing himself in poetry and song. Eli used his dry and intelligent wit to laugh at himself, even as he suffered through bouts of crippling depression. He excelled at designing interactive role-playing events for friends and enjoyed hiking and being outdoors.
Eli was committed to educating others about gender identity in order to reduce the misunderstanding and discrimination experienced by transgender and gender-fluid individuals. Knowing his own deep yearning for God, Eli was especially concerned to advocate for the inclusion of trans people in Christian spaces. He was instrumental in founding “Receiving with Thanksgiving”, a Penn State network that welcomes and affirms people of any gender identity or sexual orientation who seek to worship Jesus.
Eli’s life and passions touched many people, and he is sorely missed by his family and friends. Eli believed that authentic faith should be active, engaging people and issues in real time. It is very characteristic that a part of his legacy is the support of the Transgender Clothing Transit at Penn State. More about Eli’s life and interests can be found online at http://www.receivingme.net/.
Philip N. Knutson Endowment
The Philip N. Knutson Endowment was established to provide special funding for programs and projects that address timely life issues and concerns facing Christians in higher education, including the subject of human sexuality and the Church.
As a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Phil was keenly aware of the need for communities of faith to support and care for students through the complex journeys college brings. As a closeted gay man in the late 20th century, Phil knew for himself that an identity outside accepted cultural norms leads to immense challenges and much bias. Phil spent his career working with college students, and supporting others as they worked with college students, on behalf of the ELCA.
In 1994 Phil began to publically share his story as a gay man in the church, living with AIDS. He devoted the rest of his career to speaking about his experiences, and advocating on behalf of LGBTQA persons. When his quality of life diminished significantly, Phil ended his life on Good Shepherd Sunday of the same year. By the end of his life, he had become known for his courage and his willingness to speak and live openly, a tremendous accomplishment for the time.
The Knutson Endowment honors Phil’s memory by funding projects to support and empower students in higher education, and helping people of faith explore difficult life issues that are at the leading edge of the church and the world.