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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

LGBTQ+ Resource Center hosts Denim Day Fashion Show

Various tabling events were available to the community to learn more specifically about the impact Denim Day has on the Indigenous community. 
Photo by Celia Huber (@celia_huber)
The Fashion Show occurred on Denim Day — April 24.

Members of the community gathered in the Weasler Auditorium on Denim Day — April 24 — for the first ever Denim Day Fashion Show, hosted by the LGBTQ+ Resource Center.  

Seven Marquette students took the stage to walk in all denim, as two MCs from the community introduced them. Mairin Couch, senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and Social Justice Intern at the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, said that anyone from the community was invited to walk on stage. 

“There is no rhyme or reason to who was a part of the show, but in future years we want organizations to be able to sign up together,” Couch said. “I just wanted everyone to feel comfortable and feel welcomed.”  

Couch said that there was so much planning that went into this event, and that process has been going on for the entire year.

“The first semester was really getting to know the RC,” Couch said. “Then we started moving into discussion about what we wanted the actual event to look like, and what partners we wanted to have there.”

Throughout the Weasler Auditorium, there were various tabling events available to the community to learn more specifically about the impact Denim Day has on the Indigenous community. 

The Gerald L. Ignace Community Health Center tabled at the fashion show for those who attended to learn more about the impact on the Indigenous community and the Center for Peacemaking handed out screen prints for missing and murdered Indigenous relatives. 

According to a 2016 New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence resource article, Indigenous People are raped at a rate nearly double that any other race annually – 34.1%. In addition, the article stated more than 1 in 3 Native American women will be raped in their lifetime, and three-fourths having experienced some type of sexual assault in their lives.

“The Indigenous people are incredibly disproportionately affected by this,” Couch said. “There is not a lot of talk of it outside the Indigenous community by people like me in work.” 

While donations for the event were optional, Zabrian Oglesby, assistant director for the LGBTQ+ resource center and the site supervisor for Couch’s internship, said they worked with the Office of University Advancement to create a slim-down donation opportunity. 

“We were able to create a slim down form so that all donations and proceeds go to the LGBTQ+ Resource Center on our campus not just for this event, but lasting,” Oglesby said. “All proceeds are going to go towards funding for the next show, because it is becoming an annual tradition, and this is our first kick-off.” 

Denim Day was founded because of an Italian Supreme Court ruling in 1999, in which a rape conviction was overturned. 

“The original case was a case of rape, in which the woman was wearing ‘skin-tight’ jeans,” Couch said. “The ruling then concluded that the woman must have had to help the assailant remove them.” 

Couch said that Denim Day is an opportunity to wear denim in a powerful way. 

“The ruling served as a symbol that no matter what you wear, you aren’t free from the criticism of victim blaming,” Couch said. “This day is to show that we can do whatever we want in those clothes without fearing any harm.” 

As a Social Justice Intern at the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, Couch said the fashion show is her sole project for the year.

“A goal for myself was to figure out how I could make the existing mission of the Resource Center more social justice oriented, but I also wanted to figure out how we [LGBTQ+ Resource Center] could be more involved on campus that is educational, but also really shows the fun side of the Queer community and showcases how powerful Queer joy can be,” Couch said.

Ed de St. Aubin, psychology professor and director of the Social Justice in Psychology Internship Program, said the internship is four clusters, and the work with this specific cluster partnership is the LGBTQ+ Advocacy and Support. 

“Students are placed all over the community for this cluster, but the only internship we have on campus is with our RC,” de St. Aubin said. “The idea is to combine psychology into academics and combine that with the Ignatian principle of serving those who might be less advantaged by society.”

Couch said her hope for those who attended the fashion show was to create a connection between Marquette and community members, who otherwise would not have seen each other. 

“The RC is tucked away and not that many people know they can come hang out with us,” Couch said. “This not only serves as a way to get ourselves out there, but also educating people on Queer culture, Indigenous impact and SAAM [Sexual Assault Awareness Month] in general.”

This story was written by Sophie Goldstein. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Sophie Goldstein
Sophie Goldstein, Executive Arts & Entertainment Editor
Sophie Goldstein is a sophomore from Glenview, Illinois studying journalism and is the Executive Arts and Entertainment Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Prior to this position, she served as the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the Indiana Daily Student at Indiana University. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys spending time with friends, watching reality television and playing with her dog. She is excited to begin her journey at the Wire, while exploring the stories everyone has to share at Marquette.

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