The Sexist

Gay T-Shirts In Windows A Problem For American Apparel


A local vandal may have found an antidote for the "Legalize Gay" T-shirts that have popped up in American Apparel window displays around the D.C. area—eliminate the window.

When Kassandra Powell arrived for work at the Silver Spring American Apparel store yesterday morning, she was met with a crowd, a police car, and a broken window. "I was told that the [security alarm] went off at 5:15 a.m.," she says.

Powell, a store manager, had reason to believe that the early-morning glass-shattering was more than your average retail break-in. Nothing was stolen from the store—including the anti-Prop-8 t-shirts prominently displayed on the opposite side of the glass.

This morning, the Georgetown American Apparel location experienced its own attack from an upset window shopper—this time, over the telephone. Around 10:30 a.m., visual merchandiser Walter Reed fielded a call from a male who was "enraged for no reason."

"He was like, is this the Silver Spring location? And I said, 'No, this is the Georgetown location, '" says Reed. "He said, 'You have some Legalize Gay shirts in the window there.' He said that he and his friends found it offensive, and that if we didn't take them down, they were going to break it—the window," said Reed. "I said, 'Is that a threat, Sir?' And then he hung up."

When Reed called the Silver Spring store to inform them of the threat, he was told that the location had already received the more forceful warning about its window display over 24 hours earlier. Then, Reed informed the police of the telephonic follow-up.

Reed was doing more than helping a sister store out—he personally assisted the Silver Spring location in styling its pro-gay display. "I helped do the windows there just last week," says Reed. "I know there was a Gay Beach shirt right there in the window."

For now, Reed's handiwork has been temporarily disassembled. "I took it down because of the threat," says Powell. "It’s not because we’re trying to comply with their demands or anything—we just don't want a broken window."


American Apparel Windows Will Stay Gay

American Apparel Employees Receive Death Threats

American Apparel "Legalize Gay" Vandalism Inspires Support, Security

  • Q

    Tom A., "Gay" is a noun now, didn't you hear? Maybe the issue is that "Gay" was not plural as in "Gays".

  • knuckstable

    don't worry there's already a better solution for being gay. it's called AIDS.

  • skaz

    They should put up a display twice as big.

  • A

    By taking the display down you ARE complying withe their demands. Stand up and be proud - don't let homophobic bullies win!

    I love you American Apparel for being a forward-thinking company!

  • Jakub


  • Colin

    I'm more disappointed that American Apparel will receive heaps of good publicity for this than I am that this was an instance of hateful vandalism.

  • Dave

    Criminalize vandalism!

    Where are the shirts to support store owners' rights?

  • mdesus

    quick note jesus definitely vandalized the shit out of the temple in jerusalem. He was (rightly by the laws at the time by the way) put to death for starting a riot, and destroying money changers stalls in the temple.

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  • Jason J.

    The day I heard of this I drove right to the Silver Spring store and shopped. In my opinion, this was one of the best ways to defeat this act. Often times it's with our wallets that we make the biggest statements, I encourage you all to do the same. God bless,

    Jason J.

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  • James Smith

    Amerian Apparel is not a liberal company. Seriously, type "anti American Apparel" into Google and read...

  • spirit2

    Some of the comments here are breathtakingly ignorant and psychologically violent. If you believe that you can "pray gay away" or that AIDS is the "cure" for homosexuality, then you need to step away from your computer and do some soul searching. Hating gay people is easier than being comfortable in your own skin and living in harmony with all people regardless of their differences. I pray for a cure to heterosexism and homophobia. I pray for a cure for ignorance.

    I bet you anything that most of the posters on this blog are not sitting in a mansion in Beverly Hills or a penthouse in Manhattan. I bet most of you are working class folks -maybe some artists and students, but mostly regular people. When will people wake up to the fact that supporting all minority causes, women's causes, gay & lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender rights is in the best interest of most Americans no matter what walk of life you come from?! The bankers, insurance companies, corporations and social elite are playing us, getting us to fight over crumbs and stupid t-shirts while they ratchet up the profit-machine, slowly chipping away at the once legendary American Dream of earning a living wage, owning a home and retiring with dignity. Think about it, folks. It is cowardly and stupid to hate anyone -especially if it is not in your best interests -as a citizen and a human being.

    Go back to school. Read books. Try some therapy. Talk to people who seem to know something about how to live with an open heart. Talk to a pastor or priest or rabbi. Befriend someone who is gay, black, lesbian, transgender, disabled, poor, latino, asian, of mixed ancestry, adopted, etc. When we love difference, our lives are enriched. When our eyes are open to beauty, the universe blossoms.

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  • PromoTshirts

    I think they should have left the display up. By stepping down to any threat, large, small or violent, you're giving it power. You're validating their authority (which they don't actually have).

    'Legalize Gay' indeed.

    I just did a blog post on a cute gay rights t shirt I found today. Thought some of you might like it

  • Ryan M

    I just love the double standard. Myself, I don't really care to look at religious materials in store windows, for example, since I'm an atheist and don't agree with the concept of religion as a whole. But I recognize the right of others to hold such beliefs as long as they are not impeding my own pursuit of happiness in life, and can walk past such things without getting in a huff over it.

    They're all for freedom of speech while spewing their own anti-gay propaganda but then seek to muzzle those who don't share their views. Isn't hypocrisy rich?

  • Aaron

    Wow. Never thought I'd see something that might almost make me want to buy something from American Apparel. (Google 'Dov Charney' and poke around a little. Guy's a sexist prick and he runs his company like something out of the 1950s.)