Leslie Robinson

Chests Out, Slogans On

Filed By Leslie Robinson | April 12, 2011 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: anti-gay propaganda, Leviticus, pro-gay T-shirts, t-shirts

In my last column I discussed the role T-shirts with slogans play in the battle over gay rights. tomboy.png It occurred to me, 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."

img zazzle


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The last T-Shirt I made had a picture of me and my husband kissing in tuxedos at our wedding with the caption "Focus on Your Own Damn Family". We wear them to every pride parade and political rally.

I miss the old Don't Panic! t-shirt company. They had some great ones: "Just treat me as you would any other queen," "Nobody knows I'm (gay/bi/lesbian)," "I'm not gay but my boyfriend is" (and its female equivalent), "I hate Barbie: the bitch has EVERYTHING," "Loud pushy Jew: DEAL WITH IT" and so on and so on.

Lol I just thought t-shirts with slogans were for goth kids!

Justus Eisfeld Justus Eisfeld | April 13, 2011 7:21 AM

I like the ones from the Dutch Transgender Filmfestival reading 'I got a gender workout' and 'Is your gender in tune yet?'. I wear them as often as I can...

"I used to be a tomboy, but now I'm a full-grown lesbian."

OMG I want that one.

My fave that I own is pink with a picture of Woodsy Owl (Give a hoot! Don't pollute!) with the slogan "Homos are a hoot!" Everyone comments on it.