Toronto Diary
1 min

Did American Apparel forget the T in LGBT?

Show of hands here: does anyone still wear American Apparel? I remember buying a few things from American Apparel, but aside from a hoodie I wear regularly, I can’t think of anyone who really shops there regularly, probably because paying upward of $30 for a tank top is batshit insane.

Regardless, American Apparel does have one upside: in the wake of Prop 8, the company started making pro-gay shirts in support of equal rights. But despite labelling their line of pro-equality shirts as “LGBT Prde"-wear, trans rights group Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Transgender & Transsexual People (or MAGNET, in one of the better if somewhat tenuous acronyms I’ve seen) is questioning whether it’s really LGBT if they’re leaving off the T. And technically, the L and the B. That’s like 75 percent of the equation there.

GLAAD and American Apparel touted the shirts with slogans like “Legalize Gay” and “Gay O.K.” during pride season. And while transgender model Isis King is wearing the shirts in advertisements, MAGNET member Ashley Love says it may be too confusing to those who don’t understand the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, since King is transgender but also heterosexual.

"The real issue isn’t if a particular model profits by promoting ‘Legalize Gay’ tees, it’s the confusion sent to society by feeding the already-widespread misconception that women of transsexual history are really ‘gay’ men in dresses,” Love says. “The public is misled to perceive ‘gay’ as an umbrella term which includes transsexualism.” (via The Advocate)

And really, why not make their LGBT Pride line a little more accurate? You can’t tell me it would be all that hard to print a couple shirts with “Legalize Lesbian” or “Trans OK” or “Legalize Bi.” All I’m saying is if you’re going to say you represent LGBT, you should probably not ignore three-quarters of your audience. 

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