Shopping for clothes can be a challenge for members of the transgender community.
In many cases, they are figuring out a whole new wardrobe, which can be expensive and stressful. Thankfully, there is a store in St. Petersburg that specifically caters to their needs.
Fox Hindsman has a job interview coming up and is looking for a new outfit. The choice was Metro Retro Retail on Central Avenue.
“It’s a lot more comfortable to shop here than say, at the mall, or something,” said Hindsman.
Hindsman said it can be intimidating going to a department store and asking for help buying new clothes.
“You’re exploring a whole new different side of the fashion spectrum, sometimes you are mixing it up between the two, and that can be difficult, figuring what looks nice,” said Hindsman.
Metro Retro Retail is run by Metro Inclusive Health. Their staff is educated on how to specifically cater to the transgender community. Often people will walk in for a shirt or pants and walk out with a new friend.
“I ask Peggy, the store manager, all the time her opinion and she’ll either tell me, ‘yes or no,’ straight up,” said Jessica Longo.
Kiala Emmons, who works at Metro Inclusive Health, knows first had what some of these shoppers are going through.
“They know I’ve been through that experience. They know I can come here and they won’t be judged and it’s a safe way for them to experiment with different looks, different clothing,” said Emmons.
The store runs primarily on donations and all proceeds from sales go back into services provided by Metro Inclusive Health. Their transgender client list alone has grown from 64 people in 2016 to more than 900 currently.
“There are so many different facets with transitioning and with clothing, that’s the first thing that people see,” said Emmons.
For more information on Metro Inclusive Health go to www.metrotampabay.org.