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This new LGBTQ+ thrift store in Pennsylvania offers judgement-free fashion

Loop Thrift Pennsylvania Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition
via Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition Blog

A thrift store in Lancaster County recently opened, giving LGBTQ+ people the opportunity to explore their identities while being "encouraged and built up."

A thrift store for the LGBTQ+ community recently opened in Lancaster County, Penn., offering the opportunity for queer people to explore their identities while being "encouraged and built up."

Fashion is one of the best avenues for self expression, particularly for people for are transgender or gender nonconforming. But in seeking to curate a new wardrobe that reflects their identity, many are often met with financial barriers.

At The Loop Thrift on East Chestnut Street, all items in the main room are just $5, with the money going towards the Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition. The store has raised over $2,000 in less than a month of being open, according to Local 21 CBS News.

Though it isn't just clothing being offered by the shop — founder of The Loop Thrift, Kate Farbo, said that the organization also regularly hosts events and seminars geared towards LGBTQ+ people, and has other programs available for the community through the Coalition.

“We have in-house therapists, we have a subsidized housing program that we run," she told the outlet. "We've done a name change clinic with the bar association. We've had an STI clinic, DEI training."

Related: Virginia college students are running a thrift store for transgender and nonbinary people

As a clothing store, The Loop Thrift serves as a place where LGBTQ+ people and those who aren't in the community can explore their identities without fear of judgement, as Farbo noted: "Everyone who works here is queer, and we're also trying new things."

“You can try on the wildest outfit. You can try on something completely different than what you are wearing, and you are gonna only be encouraged and built up,” she explained, adding, "Sure, you can walk into any store and try on anything you want. But unfortunately, you don't always know how the people around you — strangers around you — are going to react.'

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.