School uses $10,000 grant to hand out ‘chest binders,’ fill library with LGBT books

By Around the Web


(Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash)

By Jennifer Nuelle
Daily Caller News Foundation

A New Mexico high school used $10,000 in grant funds to purchase “chest binders” and pro-LGBTQ books for its library, emails show.

Centennial High School received the grant from a pro-LGBT nonprofit, It Gets Better, to construct a “gender-inclusive closet” that would provide “supplies and clothes for trans and gender non-conforming students,” according to an announcement. Yet the school appears to have used the money for a different purpose, instead spending $8,370 on “chest binders” to hand out at a “Pride Day event,” communications between Las Cruces Public Schools’ (LCPS) legal support department and the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance, a civil liberty watchdog, reveal.

It Gets Better is “an organization with a mission to uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth around the globe.” In 2022, the organization awarded 50 grants in 40 states, with each school that applied receiving the full $10,000.

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Ashley McClure, an independent storytelling assistant for the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), first learned of the $10,000 grant for the “gender-inclusive closet” after hearing about it from another IWF Storyteller. The IWF obtained documents through the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance, which were then shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“That just shows that building a trans closet, like building neutral bathrooms, that’s not a grassroots thing. It’s these nonprofits funding it,” McClure told the DCNF.

The New Mexico Freedoms Alliance filed a public records request in April of 2024 and found that Centennial High School did not use that grant money to open a “gender-inclusive closet.”

U.S. schools are stocking up on “gender-affirming” gear in an attempt to aid students with their gender identity.

Despite the grant not being used specifically for the “transgender closet,” Centennial High School still opened a closet that is open to all students, according to McClure.

LCPS’ legal support department told the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance that $8,370 of the $10,000 grant money was used to purchase “chest binders” that were handed out at the first-ever Pride Parade in October of 2023 as part of the Southern New Mexico two-week long Pride celebration, according to the emails obtained by the Alliance and shared with the IWF. The remaining $1,630 of the grant money was used to purchase LGBTQ+ books for the school’s library and $73.52 on a pizza party.

One book to be added to the school’s library, “Felix Ever After” involves a transgender male figure, according to IWF. Another called “Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda” is about a high-schooler who is a closeted homosexual exploring explicit themes.

You know, everyone’s always talking about how schools are underfunded, but you know the fact that they chose to spend their money on those things just shows the clear ideological agenda,” McClure told the DCNF. 

It Gets Better awarded grants to other schools across the U.S. to push pro-LGBTQ initiatives through school-based projects.

Telluride Middle/High School in Colorado used their $10,000 to change bathrooms into being gender-neutral. A Hawaii school used their grant to establish a program to educate parents on having LGBTQ-related conversations.

It Gets Better did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment. Centennial High School and the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance referred the DCNF to LCPS’ comments on the grant money.

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