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California high school debuts 'Transition Closet' for students to hide preferred genders from parents: Report

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Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

An Oakland, California, high school is reportedly utilizing what's referred to as the "The Transition Closet" — a makeshift wardrobe for students to change when they arrive at school if they aren't comfortable telling their parents about their apparent gender dysphoria.

What are the details?

According to a report from the Post Millennial, the program first launched at a Fayetteville, Arkansas, church and was designed to "let trans-identified youth circumvent their parents and socially transition without their knowledge."

In a Facebook statement, the Transition Closet wrote, "We are extremely excited to begin our journey in working with Fremont Highschool of Oakland California, alongside our favorite teacher of TikTok @justaqueerteacher."

The post added, "The near future holds transition closet(s) and services throughout the school district for students of the Trans/Nonbinary/Intersex and additional LGBTQIA+ Community Members[.] We are currently in need of clothing donations to help kick start the first School Based Transition Closet[.] If you are in or near the Oakland CA area and are able to donate clothing, please reach out to Alexander Brodie at (520)912-6882 ax.switzer@validbybrodie.com Or Instagram @tomofoakland[.]"

The outlet reported that Thomas Martin-Edwards, Spanish teacher for the Oakland Unified School District and founder of the Queer Teacher Fellowship, was seen on a video stating that the goal of the program is "for our students to wear the clothes that their parents approve of, come to school, and then swap out into the clothes that fit who they truly are."

According to the Post Millennial, Martin-Edwards also previously served as the assistant principal of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

"And I use the idea that this is like Superman changing in a phone booth. But that idea actually goes a lot further than that. Because Superman isn't Clark Kent," he continued. "Clark Kent is actually the disguise. And when Clark Kent goes into the phone booth, he transforms into Superman, who is really just who he truly is, Kal-El. So this gives our trans students the opportunity to be the superheroes that we know they are."

According to the report, the Transition Closet also has an online repository of videos teaching transitioning girls how to "bind their breast so they appear more masculine" and more.

The report added that Martin-Edwards recently spoke with Alexander Brodie Switzer of Valid by Brodie — a group that works toward "establishing Transition Closets world-wide" — and expressed his excitement over the project.

"My principal just approved our district's first Transition Closet. We'll be working with the organization The Transition Closet to provide clothes for transgender, non-binary and gender exploring youth, who maybe don't have the access or the safety to get those clothes in their personal lives," he told Switzer. "They'll be able to come to school and change into the clothes that make them feel more at home and more like themselves. And I just think that's lovely."

Blaze Media reached out to the Oakland Unified School District for a response on the report but did not receive one in time for publication.

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