While Donald Trump is trying to return the USA to a questionably ‘great’ past, American Apparel has something else in mind. Having previously established themselves as LGBTQ supporters with their ‘Legalize Gay’ t-shirts, the company is now pushing for change with its new ‘Make America Gay Again’ range, from which 30 per cent of proceeds will contribute to the Equality Act and the ongoing struggle to end LGBTQ discrimination. The product launch will be accompanied by a calendar of in-store events set to take place in Hollywood and New York City this month.
The designs are “a collection of styles that stand for acceptance – no matter who you are, where you’re from or who you love”, with t-shirts and tank tops featuring the ‘Make America Gay Again’ moniker and emblazoned with a US take on the Pride flag.
The collection also includes a rainbow-hued ‘Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Transgender/Queer/Ally’ slogan tote bag and a ‘Make America Gay Again’ baseball cap that’s an obvious side-eye at Trump’s election merch.
Political puns aside, the new launch is strikingly relevant, given that in 2016 more than 30 US states have introduced damaging legislation which demonises LGBTQ individuals, risking their health, safety and job opportunities. As Jack Antonoff – musician and co-founder of The Ally Coalition – stated: “During a year where LGBTQ rights are being threatened all over the States, everyone is responsible for coming together and challenging these injustices.” The Human Rights Campaign’s Olivia Alair Dalton added that the campaign “empowers people to subvert the politics of hate and division by creatively speaking out for the equal rights and dignity of LGBTQ people”.