Every Body Fits In!
Guest blogger Alicia Lagano shares the story of how LA clothing store Every Body is moving from passion project idea to reality. MTSE is happy to lift up the work of allies who are also dedicated to nourishing healthy development through honest conversation about sex!
Our teenage son, Aaron inspired the idea of Every Body. Two years ago it came to our attention that Aaron was struggling internally with more than what the average teenage woes are expected to be. "Dad, I'm trans do you still love me?" The emotions we felt were overwhelming not because of his gender identity, but because of the immense pain, our child was going through. To hear the words "do you still love me" from your child was crippling, and honestly hard put into words. We felt lost and stripped of any power we took for granted as parents. The fact that he even entertained the thought that we wouldn't love and accept him for who he truly is was heartbreaking. Through the process of learning about the new him (Aaron), we realized we were facing many obstacles. Baby steps we told ourselves, so where do we begin? Shopping was the first thing that came to mind to help Aaron start his transition.
Shopping seems simple, right? Wrong. Close your eyes and picture yourself going into a store where nothing is designed to fit your body type. The clothing is too big, too small, too long, too short and uncomfortable. You have no help, no options, and no way to express yourself.
Now imagine you’re transgender-gender nonconforming. TGNC individuals, specifically teens, struggle with the fit of clothing. They have no place to shop for finding clothes that genuinely fit them. This is a problem.
Through our love for these kids, we will provide a place where the clothing is inclusive, youthful, and designed to evoke self-expression.
The difference in what we are designing for TGNC (Transgender/Gender Non-Conforming) teens in comparison to Cisgender teens will be the fit of our clothing in an inclusive environment. We design our clothing with all body types and individual identities in mind. Typically, transitioning FTM (female to male) teens have wider hips, more narrow shoulders, shorter arms, and legs and they bind their chests.
Transitioning MTF (male to female) teens have broader shoulders and a more narrow lower body, as well as longer arms and legs. Non-binary individuals face similar challenges. These teens have a hard time fitting in clothes at the stores available to them. Not only do the clothing options not fit correctly but many of these awesome kids are scared to go shopping because of the treatment they receive.
They often experience poor service, dirty looks and not being allowed to use their chosen dressing room. They often leave because they are never acknowledged and receive no assistance. We are working hard to make clothing more inclusive and to help create a positive shopping experience.
We plan to locate Every Body in West Hollywood, California. Every Body will be a one-stop shop providing necessary accessories and specifically tailored clothing to fit the unique body types of transgender-gender nonconforming teens. Our style is inclusive, youthful and specifically designed to evoke self-expression. Our store will provide convenient in-house tailoring to help ensure special individual needs. We aim to establish our company as a pioneer in this cisgender-obsessed industry.
Every Body = A safe, comfortable space for TGNC teens to shop freely.
Every Body = A specialized size chart and in-house tailoring that will cater to individual needs.
Every Body = A one-stop shop that will provide necessary accessories and specifically tailored clothing to fit unique body types.
To launch successfully, we need financial backing. All funds will go towards helping us build Every Body from the ground up which includes: materials, proper equipment, rental space, clothing production, and a carefully hand-picked team that shares our vision.
“Our mission is to inspire change for an equal future.”
-TGNC. Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (gender identity)
-Trans-gen-der /transˈjendər/: of, relating to or being a person whose gender identity is opposite the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.
-Gender-non-conforming denoting or relating to a person whose behavior or appearance does not conform to prevailing cultural and social expectations about what is appropriate to their gender.
-Non-Binary – a category for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine – identities which are outside the gender binary and cisnormativity.
-Cis-gender /sisˈjendər/: denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds to their birth sex.
– LGBTQ – is a loosely defined grouping of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, LGBT organizations, and subcultures, united by a common culture and social movements. These communities generally celebrate pride, diversity, individuality, and sexuality.