Did A Missouri School Approve A Coming Out Closet?

By Erika Hanson | 2 weeks ago

coming out closet

Coming out of the closet might be a popular term used by LGBTQ+ individuals when they publicly choose to announce their gender and/or sexual preference, but it is also a term making waves on Twitter for its literal meaning. Coming out closets are said to be popping up in schools across the nation. These rooms are said to give students access to LGBTQ+ support apparel. Yesterday, the popular social media account Libs Of TikTok made a claim that a school in Columbus, Missouri just approved plans for a similar initiative, but is it true?

Libs of TikTok has championed itself as a social media account exposing “woke” policies inside public schools. On May 10th, the account shared a video with accompanying information claiming a Missouri school district approved a coming out closet for LGBTQ+ students to obtain free chest binders and various apparel to better express their identities. Stirring the pot across Twitter,  many questioned the post’s validity, but according to information obtained from the district, much of the account’s information seems to be legit.

According to documents obtained from the Meeting Minutes for the Columbia Public School District, the school board approved a grant application presented by Rockbridge High School’s Gay/Straight Alliance Club (GSA). The grant comes from the It Get’s Better Project. The nonprofit organization was founded in 2010 to empower LGBTQ+ youth around the globe, and the grant money will fund the schools coming out closet.

According to reports from The Columbia Missourian, the grant was previously denied at a recent board meeting. Board members asked the group to reprise the verbiage so that it included language emphasizing that the coming out closet would be accessible to all students, not just LGBTQ+ youth. After revising the form, it was fully approved at Monday’s board meeting.

coming out closet

According to information directly from the grant application form, the plan is for the school to use part of the funds to renovate an existing closet within the school’s basement. The closet is already being utilized as a resource for students in need of formal wear for school events, and it will not be expanded and renovated. The new coming out closet will, in fact, allow all students to express their individual identities.

The coming out closet has been officially named the Coming Out of the Closet in Style initiative by the GSA club. The application begins with members stating that the long-standing school club has the purpose of creating safe spaces within school halls for at-risk LGBTQ+ students. Furthermore, they tout the project as an effort to welcome students of every race, religion, gender, and sexual identity. 

coming out closet

Within the application, the student-run organization laid out explicit details of how the grant money would be allocated. As for apparel, they stated that they wish to offer a variety of masculine and feminine clothes, all at no cost to students. Being very meticulous in listing what types of apparel the coming out closet would offer, the application never made any inkling of chest binders, although Libs of Tiktok insisted the project would include them.

More than likely, chest binders may be an option for students in the new coming out closet. Similar projects documented around the U.S. have openly boasted about offering this controversial undergarment. Regardless of the divide the initiative causes, the project is moving forward, and similar ones will likely continue to pop up in schools across America.