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Making Affirming Churches Fashionable 

Katy’s First Christian Church opens their new safe space for LGBTQ youth with a fashion-show fundraiser.


Looking good is a vital part of feeling good, and suburban Katy’s LGBTQ-affirming First Christian Church (FCC) is on a mission to help people of all gender expressions look their best. The church hosted their Transparent Closet Fashion and Drag Show on August 4, complete with popular local drag performers and young models from the church community. Proceeds will benefit Kaleidoscope Place (or KPLACE), the church’s new safe space for LGBTQ youth.

FCC’s community-relations chairperson, Alex, who identifies as bisexual and nonbinary, speaks to the impact of the church’s fearless advocacy work: “It is such a privilege to be the first LGBTQ+ affirming church in Katy. Our congregation has discerned that God is calling us to bear witness to the inequities [we see in] our Katy community, along with the injustices that the queer community constantly faces. It surely has been exciting to be somewhat of a lightning rod in the community as we continue to shed light on the needs of the queer community.” 

We dream that we will be part of a movement of LGBTQ-affirming churches and organizations in the Katy community.  —Alex, FCC community-relations chairperson

Alex, First Christian Church of Katy’s community-relations chairperson

FCC is proud of their position in the Katy community, and church leaders hope they will become an example that inspires other churches to follow suit. “We dream that we will be part of a movement of LGBTQ+ affirming churches and organizations in the Katy community,” Alex says. “We are already working with several churches who are working to become open and affirming, and we are working with Katy Pride to launch its inaugural celebration on Saturday, October 14.”

Alex goes on to explain the importance of the church’s donated-clothing operation: “Transparent Closet is a free clothing boutique for youth, teens, and young adults who are transitioning or gender exploring. Today, the closet offers clothing, jewelry, binders, and more. In early 2019, a church member who had a trans son asked if we could start a ‘closet’ for trans teens to come and get clothes. At first, a 2-foot by 4-foot shelf in one of our closets was dedicated to become the Transparent Closet. As months went on and it became apparent that this space was not enough, plans were set into motion to create a larger space.” 

The power of community helped take that project from a spare shelf to a full-blown boutique-style clothing store. “Planning [for the boutique continued in 2019, before] tragedy struck that December when the parent who first dreamed of Transparent Closet tragically passed away,” Alex recalls. “In the wake of his death, family and friends left memorial gifts to secure the legacy of that father who dared to dream of a community and world that would be safe for his son.” 

The fitting room of the church’s Transparent Closet

Those gifts laid the foundation for the Transparent Closet that the church offers to LGBTQ youth and young adults today. “The closet occupies nearly 4,000 square feet of space to receive, sort, and store donations. It’s a vibrant, safe space for all, and exists now in ways that we never dreamed could be possible.”

The church’s fundraiser featured youth and young-adult models showing off items that have been donated to Transparent Closet. Drag performers Kiki Dion Van Wales and Vegas Van Cartier served as show hosts

“FCC Katy believes that drag is always a family-friendly affair, but due to the current Texas legislation, this may have been the last fashion show that the queens will be at. But Transparent Closet will continue to serve a true need in our community, with roughly 40 shoppers each month and loads of donated clothes being dropped off.”

KPLACE, the church’s safe space to support queer youth, officially opened on August 4. It will initially serve youth 12 to 25 years old with a few programs each month, but the church’s ministry team anticipates adding more programming and services in the future. “We are excited to have two licensed queer therapists who will be hosting peer support groups,” Alex adds. “We also anticipate hosting local Gay-Straight Alliance meetings and other queer-friendly groups, educational opportunities, and (in collaboration with the health department) HIV and STI testing. [We want to fill in the] gaps being created as the queer community’s rights continue to be stripped away in Texas.”

Alex explains that ongoing community support is crucial for the continued success of these programs. “Transparent Closet is dependent on donations of clothes, but we also need new items like underwear, bras, undershirts, makeup, and socks. Monetary donations can be made on our website, and will go to support both Transparent Closet and our new KPLACE youth safe space.” 

Make a financial donation to Transparent Closet and the church’s youth safe space by clicking here. To learn more about FCC Katy, visit the church’s website at fcckaty.com 

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Zach McKenzie

Zachary McKenzie is a marketing professional and freelance writer in Houston, TX. He received his bachelor's degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 2014 and has lived in Houston since. Zachary is a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters and enjoys spending his free time with friends, exploring the richness and diversity of Houston.
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