= 12 July 2010 =

July 12th, 2010 § 33 comments

12 July 2010 , originally uploaded by academichic.



Have you heard of American Apparel’s marriage equality campaign? I have to say, I’m usually a little wary of AA’s ad campaigns and the often questionable choice of models/outfits they put forth, but when I came across these ‘Marriage is so gay’ tees, I was intrigued. As it turns out, American Apparel came up with these ‘Marriage is so gay’ shirts in order to help promote equal rights and to support three different human rights campaigns working on marriage equality.

Marriage is so gay, originally uploaded by academichic.

You can read all about the project here. When you purchase your shirt, you get to choose between the three different organizations that have paired up with AA for this campaign.  Besides getting to choose whether you want your shirt in blue, red, or black, you also get to choose whether you want the proceeds from your purchase to go to The Human Rights Campaign, Marriage Equality USA, or Freedom to Marry. Each t-shirt also comes with a hand written number on the tag, telling you which number shirt you bought. By keeping track of each sale, AA is counting how many people are showing their support at large.

Once I read more about this project, it didn’t take long to hit that ‘add to cart’ button and order my own tee. I strongly believe in marriage equality and in working towards a future that sees no group of people being denied the citizen rights of their fellow country people. I’m often baffled that we’re even having these discussions and arguments and I can only hope for (and work towards) a time when my children and their fellow people will respect each other as equals regardless of gender, class, race, or sexual identity. Today, I’m proud to be number 9398 laying claim to this cause. S.

12 July 2010 , originally uploaded by academichic.

Addendum: I apologize for crediting American Apparel with the above campaign, as I now see, it’s actually a company called ISSO who is using American Apparel tees to promote this cause. Although the campaign is run by ISSO, the shirts used are AA.

In response to several commenters who have written about their disapproval of AA, I would just like to assure you, our readers, that we are not promoting American Apparel and that this blog post or my shirt were not sponsored by or offered as paid advertisement for the aforementioned company. In fact, I myself noted my distrust of AA’s previous ads at the beginning of this post.

I wore this shirt and shared my thoughts on this with you because I was interested in promoting an issue so hotly debated and so critical to our current events in the US: same-sex marriage. I purchased this shirt because 20% of the proceeds went towards my organization of choice – Marriage Equality USA – and I presented it with no other agenda than my very explicit one: to promote marriage equality.

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§ 33 Responses to = 12 July 2010 ="

  1. Christina says:

    Bravo S! I am going to get myself one of these. I’m a married hetero woman but I stand in solidarity with the LGBT community. It saddens me that I have the ability to get married but my brother in law legally cannot in our state.

  2. Sally says:

    Love it. I’ll be sure to pass along the word about this project!

  3. Jaileen says:

    definately buying one! I completely agree with the message..so inspirational!

  4. Bekah Mae says:

    Those shoes are nothing short of fantastic!

  5. Seems like one of the company’s better attempts at staving off impending bankruptcy. I wonder if the shirt is on its list of approved employee ‘looks’?: http://gothamist.com/2009/07/27/dov_charney.php

  6. Rosy says:

    Hmm…so, these are printed on American Apparel tees, but I’m pretty sure they’re not created by American Apparel. The company listed as running the site is ISSO, LLC, and none of their press releases mentions a corporate affiliation with American Apparel. In fact, they’re New England-based (American Apparel is based in Los Angeles) and the owners have non-AA day jobs:

    “All three owners have full-time jobs in addition to ISSO. Solomon works for Yale University, Berkowitz owns a Web design company called CT Web Net LLC, and Horowitz, the former director of the New Haven Oral History Project, is a freelance writer in Louisiana.”

    A lot of independent T-shirt printers use AA tees because they’re comfortable and sell well.

  7. Mae says:

    The blogosphere is full of links depicting the sexist and racist practices of American Apparel, particularly against “trashy black girls” so I can’t see how wearing a pro-gay marriage t-shirt really advocates for social justice and equality. I love this blog and I will assume that S. was not aware of the controversy.

  8. Deena says:

    I, too, enjoy this blog, but am troubled by the pro-American Apparel promotion. Seconding what Mae said re: the sexist, racist practices of American Apparel, AA also has been nasty about fat people (see here: http://lillianbehrendt.com/?p=77).

    Additionally, sorry to say, marriage equality is not necessarily the goal of all LGBT people. There’s a great discussion of that here: http://queerkidssaynomarriage.wordpress.com/

    I support my friends who are LGBT and married, but it’s not as simple as being pro-gay marriage and gay people or against.

    Keep on keepin’ on, though–the outfit is very cute!

  9. admin says:

    Deena, thanks for the links. I hope you and Mae and any other readers sharing your frustrations understand that I wasn’t trying to promote AA and, by extension, any of their questionable campaign strategies that I wasn’t even aware of.

    As for your second point, I am well aware of the fact that many gay people fight for other rights and marriage equality is not one of them. That, however, doesn’t diminish my conviction that equal rights – ALL equal rights, including the right to marry legally – should be granted to all citizens regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or whatever else may set them apart from the privileged majority.

    My post wasn’t arguing that this issue should be seen as representative of what *all LGBT* people want – I would hardly argue that I can claim to know that, would anyone? – it was arguing for a legal change *I* would like to see implemented. S.

  10. Debbie says:

    Thanks. Just ordered two, one for me and one for my husband.

  11. Sylvia says:

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve passed this on to just about everyone I know, right in time for the fifth wedding anniversary of my two best boys. About 60 people from all over the world flew to Amsterdam to celebrate with them and it was one of the best weddings/special occasions I’ve ever been a part of… well, except for where they asked me to recite a Shakespearean sonnet during the ceremony. I could have done without that :)

  12. Gloria Blackwell says:

    Racy ads aside, American Apparel is an American company and uses non-sweatshop labor to produce its products and pays its workers fair wages. That cannot be said for clothing from any of The Gap companies, J.Crew, Target, and Eddie Bower. Maybe the women in the ads degrade women but I know when I buy merchandise from AA that the women that work in their shops are treated with respect and are paid fairly. That is what is more important to me than ad campaigns. Bravo to AA for being progressive in their politics and paying their workers fair wages.

  13. Sarah C says:

    This outfit is so cute and I love that the T-shirt is for a good cause! Just perfect.

  14. Don’t mean to be a killjoy, but AA has notorious labor issues. Charney, the CEO, famously threatened to move AA manufacturing to China when shop workers started grumbling publicly back in 2007-ish about the grueling piece-rate pay system and their desire to unionize. He’s also been sued by something like three of his female employees for sexual harassment. All businesses have their labor issues, but when a considerable part of your marketing hustle revolves around your pro-labor practices, you really ought to make sure that your game is a bit tighter.

  15. April says:

    yay! love this outfit, love the shirt! i’m going to need to buy one now…thanks for letting the blogosphere know! marriage equality is the only issue i care wholeheartedly about, because it’s people’s LIVES that the government is f***ing with, in a very direct and personal way. it’s so hard to believe that things like inequality and discrimination are still being fought today…like, how many times do we have to go over this before people get it in their heads that America was built on equality and everyone deserves the same rights?!

  16. gay married says:

    context always matters, dolls. i think this is highly relevant and a great response to the few hateful comments in response to A’s announcement of her marriage. i am glad to see a response from one of her co-bloggers.

  17. [...] of refocused perspectives (like the segue?), S.’s post yesterday resurrected some of my personal neuroses concerning slogan tees. Due in part to personality, in [...]

  18. kristen says:

    All three of you girls are beautiful, stylish and brilliant. I’ve been coming here for ages to read your fashion theories and tips, but please, PLEASE don’t begin pushing your individual political agendas in this lovely space. One of the reasons that I love fashion blogs is because it is a place where I don’t have to listen to people push their individual political views. It’s just fashion. That’s all. I’ve said my piece.

  19. maureen says:

    S – I love your post and the spirit with which it was intended, the bright blue tee paired with the white flowing skirt (a look I would never think of on my own), and your the tee shirts message! As always – THANKS!

  20. Maria says:

    For the record, I couldn’t disagree with Kristen (above) more. I for one welcome the dialogue between fashion and beliefs, whether they be academic or political. I love this blog *because* it isn’t just “this is what I wore, and this is where I bought each piece from”. The rationale for what we wear is oftentimes more interesting than the clothes themselves — that said, keep on doing what you’re doing. The shirt and your reasons for wearing it are awesome.

  21. [...] recent wearing of my ‘Marriage is so gay’ t-shirt has sparked an interesting conversation. I appreciated reading E’s viewpoint and all [...]

  22. Sara says:

    Love the shirt and the sentiment behind it. I think it’s important to stand up for your beliefs in a public manner (t-shirts, rallies, etc). If there aren’t people out there
    publicly supporting gay rights it becomes easier for those against gay rights to claim that they represent the majority opinion. So many people are afraid to discuss politics outside a small sphere of close friends and/or family and I think that is a shame.

  23. [...] But, I wanted to add my two cents about slogan tees.  I’ve enjoyed reading E’s post, both of S’s posts, and the many thoughtful comments, all of which have had me doing quite a bit of [...]

  24. Sara says:

    I meant to write a post about graphic tees for quite some time, and this post, along with many of these comments, inspired some thoughts back to my mind. So thank you for that (although inspiration often happens after reading an academichic post). Thank you, also, for mentioning these tees – I hadn’t heard about them before this post, so I appreciate learning about them. I absolutely love how you’re wearing this tee, with that floaty skirt. Looking wonderful!

  25. Rebecca says:

    Y’all being women of the world, etc, are probably aware of this, but as it is politicized slogan tee appropriate:


    Amazing. Argentina the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage (Mexico City has legalized it, but not the entire country). I’m super pumped, and am more likely to buy the [marriage is so gay] tee now.

    Thanks for wearing the shirt and sparking the debate. I’ve really enjoyed following the subsequent discussion. I love this blog.


  26. Audi says:

    I disagree heartily with Kristen; I really enjoy getting to “know” my favorite bloggers by learning a little about their views on politics and other topics. And I’m right there with you on the gay marriage issue — love the shirt and everything it stands for.

  27. MaryAnn says:

    Thanks for the link, I just ordered mine.

  28. glenn says:

    I’m one of the people affected by DOMA, and so is my girlfriend of 6 years. She’s transgendered, so the state of Florida doesn’t think we should be able to marry.

    I’m glad you mentioned this shirt in your blog. I disagree with Kristen, because fashion is a reflection of who you are. Thank you for standing up for that.

  29. [...] What do you think of the Marriage Is So Gay campaign? I’m a fan (via academichic). [...]

  30. D. says:

    I completely agree with Kristen.

    I do not support the legalization of a union between two same sex people, I refuse to label that “marriage” because of how strongly I disagree with it.

    I can no longer support your “fashion” blog due to the blatant overemphasis of a political agenda. Thanks but no thanks, I can look for cute outfit inspirations elsewhere.

    • admin says:

      D – If you’re looking for outfit inspiration with no content, then I am sure you will find a more appropriate source for that in many other places. We state in our site byline that we are “three feminists” and so I’m consistently surprised when my having an opinion of any sort shocks someone. By calling ourselves feminists, we’re already suggesting that we have political and ideological opinions and that we are not going to withhold all non-fashion related thoughts. Often, these thoughts are very much fashion related as we explore how style, fashion, pop culture, politics, gender, academia, and self-presentation intersect. These types of dialogues make me feel like I am constantly learning and growing as an individual. You are free to disagree with me, and I strongly encourage you to do so if you see fit, but telling me to censor my ideas or else you will refuse to visit my site has no impact whatsoever. S.

  31. Madge says:

    wow. D has some nasty opinions. It’ll be no loss to lose her.

    Carry on ladies! Interesting post, fabulous style


  32. [...] unflattering.  I followed the “Message Tee” discussion on Academichic closely (that started here with the “Marriage is so Gay” tee-shirt worn by S.), as I found the reasons behind E., A. and S.’s message tee-shirt choices [...]

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