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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 15, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 15
General Gayety: Chests out, slogans on
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General Gayety: Chests out, slogans on

by Leslie Robinson - SGN Contributing Writer

In my last column, I discussed the role T-shirts with slogans play in the battle over Gay rights. It occurred to me that aside from the T-shirts I've read about that have caused ruckuses in schools and elsewhere, I don't know what kinds of pro-Gay and anti-Gay T-shirts are available these days.

Like a size XS T-shirt, ignorance doesn't look good on me.

So I'm on the hunt for snappy and snippy slogans.

I Googled 'Gay T-shirts' and landed on Zazzle.com, whose shirts for women include 'I used to be a tomboy, but now I'm a full-grown Lesbian.'

I want it. I want it now.

I'm less inclined to wear the shirt that reads 'Vagitarian: One whose sexual diet consists exclusively of vagina.' I'd have a hard time looking anyone in the eye while wearing that. Even at Pride.

Were I Bisexual, I couldn't handle the shirt featuring a rooster and a cat, and below them the words 'I'll take both.' Yup, a cock and a pussy. My face would display shades of red heretofore unknown.

By contrast, I'd be happy to sport 'God hates shellfish.' Then I could call out religious hypocrisy and wear it, too. The motto of the Gay-owned company Queer Republic Tees is 'Not your typical, lame-ass rainbow crap.' Hence the shirt for guys reading 'Trick-o-matic. Just add booze.'

One of the offerings for women says, 'Save a tree & eat a beaver.' Hmm, maybe I could pull that one off. I am environmentally minded.

After the last column ran, I heard from BMP T-Shirts, also Gay-owned, whose options include a shirt featuring a rental truck labeled 'She-Haul.' The punch line is 'The second-date vehicle of choice.'

I have no idea what that refers to.

At Cafepress.com, a T-shirt sports a small guy in a sailor outfit and the words 'Who's ready for a little seaman?' For Lesbians who also like, um, maritime themes, there's a shirt with a female scuba diver and the slogan 'Dykesville Divers: We don't come up for air.'

I'm drawn to 'Pink sheep of the family' and 'Gay marriage killed the dinosaurs.' If I had a toddler, he or she would be clad in 'My mom is a dykosaurus rex.'

Now for the other side of the culture war. I typed in 'anti-Gay T-shirts' at Cafepress, and sure enough, they sell those too, just not as many and the slogans are less than inspired. 'Diversity sucks' opines one shirt; 'Be happy, not Gay' suggests another.

One of the more clever offerings says, 'Celebrate diversity: Marry someone of the opposite gender.' The male and female symbols and the cross are included. A person so inclined can buy this design on a T-shirt, tank top, hoodie, mug and Christmas stocking. Ho ho ho.

I Googled 'anti-Gay T-shirts' and wound up where I started, at Zazzle. There - among options like 'Obama makes me puke' and 'Global Warming. Bullcrap' - was a shirt reading, 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Leviticus 18:22.'

A bit wordy for a slogan. Someone should chat with the author about that.

At the same time, Zazzle sells a T-shirt that points out 'Leviticus also said no hair cuts, but I guess we are skipping that.'

Zazzle is covering its rear by covering everyone's chest. Pro-Gay, anti-Gay - the money's the same.

Why are the anti-Gay slogans flat? Is it accurate what we like to say about ourselves, that we're more creative? Or does truth offer better material with which to work?

I could help the other side get snappier. But Leviticus clearly says, 'Thou shalt not be an idiot.'

Leslie Robinson was shocked by the vitriol in the anti-illegal immigrant T-shirts she saw when researching this column. Email her at lesarobinson@gmail.com, and visit her blog at www.generalgayety.com.

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