PFLAG Boulder County and TYES (Trans Youth Education & Support) just had its 5th Annual Gender Expansive Fashion Show. With special guest speaker Jude, the namesake of Colorado’s Jude’s Law*, and special musical guest Phoenix, Colorado’s Trans Community Choir.
The event provides a safe space for gender expansive or trans children and teens, to express themselves and their gender in a creative way. The show allows them to showcase the many different ways people can dress and express themselves across the gender spectrum.
The Gender Expansive Fashion Show was created by Tobi, who wanted to create a safe space event for their son to openly express himself. As Tobi began to organize the event, they realized there was a need in the community, to have a safe and healthy expression where the inside identification could shine on the outside. Now in its fifth year, trans youth look forward to the annual event, some have started to feature their original designs during the show.
The sheer joy and camaraderie of the participants was tangible. There was an excitement and a level of trust for the kids to know they were not alone and for them to witness visible support. As the choir sang the song “Reflection” from the musical Mulan, there was more than one tear in the house. The song “Reflection” means the one in the song wanted the people to see his/her beauty inside. As what is stated in a line in the song, “When will my reflection show who I am inside,” the character in the song doesn’t want others to judge him/her by physical appearance.
*Jude’s Law passed in 2019, and took effect in 2020. It makes it easier for transgender people to change their gender on identify documents, like a birth certificate. Under the law, transgender people are now exempt from having to submit a public notice of a name change.