In a remarkable stride toward inclusivity and empowerment, a visionary trans woman creates world's first underwear collection for transgender children. This pioneering initiative transcends the conventional boundaries of fashion, addressing the unique needs of a community that has long been underserved. The collection not only prioritizes physical comfort but also seeks to foster a profound sense of identity, ensuring that transgender children feel seen, accepted, and celebrated.
The creation and availability of transgender-specific underwear hold profound significance in fostering inclusivity, promoting comfort, and affirming the identities of transgender individuals. This importance extends beyond the realm of fashion, touching on psychological, emotional, and social well-being. Here are several key reasons highlighting the significance of having transgender underwear:
- Affirmation of Identity -Transgender-specific underwear serves as a tangible affirmation of one's gender identity. Conventional underwear often adheres to binary norms, leaving transgender individuals with limited options that may not align with their self-identified gender. Trans-specific underwear acknowledges and validates diverse gender expressions, allowing individuals to align their outward appearance with their internal sense of self.
- Comfort and Fit -Transgender bodies may have unique shapes and sizes, and conventional underwear designs might not provide the necessary comfort and support. Trans-specific underwear takes into account the diverse anatomies of transgender individuals, offering tailored designs that enhance comfort, fit securely, and cater to the specific needs of different gender identities.
- Emotional Well-being -Wearing clothing that aligns with one's gender identity can significantly impact emotional well-being. Transgender individuals often face challenges related to body dysphoria, and having underwear designed specifically for them can alleviate discomfort and contribute to a positive self-image. This, in turn, enhances overall mental health and fosters a sense of confidence.
- Inclusivity and Representation -The availability of transgender underwear contributes to a more inclusive and representative fashion landscape. It acknowledges the existence and rights of transgender individuals in society, breaking away from traditional norms that may exclude or marginalize them. This inclusivity in fashion helps challenge stereotypes and fosters a greater understanding of diverse gender identities.
- Empowerment for Transgender Youth -For transgender children and teenagers, having underwear that caters to their unique needs is especially crucial. It allows them to express their gender identity authentically from a young age, fostering a sense of belonging and reducing the potential impact of societal stigma. Trans-specific underwear can play a role in empowering transgender youth to navigate their identity with confidence.
- Social Acceptance and Normalization -The existence of transgender-specific underwear contributes to the normalization of diverse gender identities in society. It sends a message that transgender individuals are seen, acknowledged, and deserve the same choices and considerations as anyone else. This normalization is a step towards reducing stigmatization and fostering broader social acceptance.
- Advancement in Fashion Industry Standards -The creation of transgender-specific underwear challenges the norms of the fashion industry, encouraging designers and manufacturers to consider the diverse needs of their consumers. This shift promotes an industry that is responsive to the varied identities within its customer base and encourages other sectors to follow suit in embracing inclusivity.
Carmen Liu on the left side and a lilac with a strawberry design underwear
Meet Carmen Liu, the 27-year-old visionary designer from London and the founder of GI Collection, the pioneering trans lingerie brand. Liu's latest venture, the Carmen Liu Kids range, is set to revolutionize the fashion landscape by introducing the world's first underwear collection specifically crafted for transgender children.
In a world where between one and three percent of children grapple with gender dysphoria, the Carmen Liu Kids range emerges as a beacon of inclusion and support. Liu aims to provide transgender children with a product that goes beyond mere comfort, aiming to instill a sense of belonging in their bodies from a young age. The statistics underline the urgency of addressing the unique needs of this demographic, and Liu's innovative approach seeks to bridge the gap.
What sets this collection apart is its utilization of patented technology tailored explicitly to the distinctive requirements of trans girls and their bodies. Liu's commitment to creating a product that not only meets but anticipates the needs of transgender children reflects a profound understanding of the challenges they face.
Speaking about her inspiration behind the Carmen Liu Kids range, Liu shared on Metro, “From the beginning, an underwear line for trans kids was one of the first and more important products I wanted to design and launch.”Liu's personal journey, having not lived her childhood as her true gender, adds a poignant layer to her commitment. She expresses:
Unfortunately, I never lived my childhood as my true gender and this is something I can never get back. For me, to be able to provide the world’s first underwear line for the rapidly increasing amount of trans kids globally, is my way of helping them avoid losing their childhood as their true gender.- Carmen Liu
Beyond the product itself, Liu envisions her work as a means to raise awareness about the growing challenges faced by trans children and their families. Drawing from her experiences in advocating for trans women globally, Liu extends her mission to encompass the younger demographic. Her dedication to expanding awareness and understanding highlights the holistic approach she takes in contributing to a more inclusive world.
In a fashion landscape evolving towards greater inclusivity, Carmen Liu's GI Collection and the Carmen Liu Kids range stand as powerful symbols of progress. The fusion of innovative design, empathy, and a commitment to social impact makes this initiative not only groundbreaking but transformative for the transgender community, particularly children navigating the complexities of gender identity.
When asked what inspired her to create this collection, she answered:
There are so many things that have inspired me to create the lingerie line. In 2014 when I transitioned from male to female and trans lingerie was one of the first products I searched for online, too my surprise I couldn’t find any just the transgender gaff which is horrendous. The feelings I would have from looking at myself in the mirror whilst wearing a trans gaff is enough of an inspiration to create the lingerie line.- Carmen Liu
Every week I would always think to myself why do we not have lingerie and how would I design lingerie for women like me so no one else has to experience what myself and many other trans women before me have had to.- Carmen Liu
Trans kids' underwear comes in three colors. For kids, there will be three sets of underwear: a pair in yellow with daisies, a pair in light blue with white dots, and a pair in white and lilac with a strawberry design.
The GI Collection first came out in February 2019 with a line of underwear for trans women that sold out in just a few days. While there is a tucking choice for adult underwear, there will be none for children's underwear. Liu said:
I have designed the kids underwear line with cotton and mesh fabrics, the designs differ from current kids underwear available on the market as they allow for a greater hold and support for the lower body parts and are designed specifically for the needs of trans children.- Carmen Liu
This will help with the symptoms transgender children can experience from gender dysphoria and avoid any public embarrassment they can feel.- Carmen Liu
The design does differ from my trans women’s line, where full tucking is needed, this is because it is not safe for children at a young age to be tucking fully. I know there are a lot of people who are yet to understand why trans-specific products are necessary, I know that some of this is due to lack of information.- Carmen Liu
One thing I always say to first help people is that trans girls and women have an additional body part that needs concealing. Cis lingerie/underwear does not solve our issues, lingerie/underwear is a basic human need which our community does not have access to.- Carmen Liu
Carmen Liu wearing a transgender lingerie
The world's first line of high-end underwear made just for transgender women is now available. Up until now, trans women who haven't had surgery didn't have many choices for underwear that would cover their genitalia. With the GI Collection, trans woman Carmen Liu wants to change that.
Carmen's line has a special set of items that "tuck" the genitalia in and have pretty bows and lace trim that you usually see on regular underwear. She is also adding bras to her line to go with her unique bottoms, which have a secret pattern and fabric that makes the area below look flat.
There will be underwear and lingerie "tucking tape" in the range. This is a safer, less painful option to the household tapes that many trans women use. Trans women can feel "more secure" with or without the underwear when they use the tape.
Transgender people have made progress in getting equal rights, but Carmen says that many popular lingerie brands make trans women feel like they are not wanted. The top marketing officer of Victoria's Secret had to say sorry for some hurtful things he said about transgender models last year.
Edward Razek told American Vogue that the lingerie brand's annual fashion shows are "a fantasy" and shouldn't have transgender models because of this. This is the exact way of thinking that Carmen Liu Lingerie wants to change. Carmen says:
I hope that the collection will allow transgender women to feel feminine, sexy and accepted in society.- Carmen Liu
We need this brand not only because lingerie for trans women does not exist, but to also help us have a greater experience as the women we were suppose to be.- Carmen Liu
In the past few years, transgender models have been on the catwalks of several well-known fashion houses, such as Calvin Klein, Prabal Gurung, Marc Jacobs, and Helmut Lang.
Yes, transgender underwear often comes in various styles to accommodate different body shapes and sizes. Some designs may be tailored for trans men, while others cater specifically to the needs of trans women, recognizing the diversity within the transgender community.
Many online retailers and specialty stores offer a range of affordable transgender underwear options. Additionally, some brands may have sales or promotions, and there are community forums where individuals share recommendations for budget-friendly and inclusive undergarment choices.
Transgender underwear is often designed with comfort in mind, and materials such as cotton, microfiber, and moisture-wicking fabrics are commonly used. These materials provide breathability, durability, and a soft feel against the skin.
Absolutely. While transgender underwear is designed to meet the specific needs and preferences of transgender individuals, there's no restriction on who can wear them. Many cisgender individuals appreciate the inclusive designs and comfort features offered by these undergarments.
Yes, many transgender underwear brands prioritize discretion in packaging to respect the privacy of their customers. When ordering online, these brands often use plain or discreet packaging to ensure that the contents are not immediately identifiable, allowing individuals to shop with confidence and confidentiality.
As we celebrate the unveiling of the world's first underwear collection for transgender children, we witness the fusion of empathy and design prowess in Carmen Liu's revolutionary work. This marks a pivotal moment in the journey towards a more inclusive future, where every child, regardless of their gender identity, can experience a sense of belonging and authenticity.
Liu's dedication to shaping a world where transgender children can express themselves authentically through their clothing signifies not just a breakthrough in fashion but a profound step towards a more compassionate and understanding society. The ripple effects of this groundbreaking collection are poised to create lasting positive change for generations to come.