Old Navy to unveil line of gay pride T-shirtsBreaking News, Top Highlights Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
Mega clothing retailer Old Navy will sell gay pride T-shirts this year in an effort to discourage bullying and promote diversity among teens and young adults, both members of the store’s principle demographic.
The T-shirts, which come in several different styles and bear messages including “Love Proudly” and “Pride 2011” along with rainbow-oriented graphics, will be priced between $7 and $14 and be available beginning tomorrow, June 1. 10 percent of proceeds from the shirts will be donated to the “It Gets Better” anti-bullying and suicide prevention campaign.
Catherine Rhoades, a spokeswoman for Gap Brands Inc. (Old Navy’s parent company), told the Patriot News that Old Navy and all Gap companies encourage customers and employees alike to embrace their individuality.
“Our customers and employees are of many different ethnicities, faiths and lifestyles,” Rhoades explained, “and we support them all.”
Given the retailer’s popularity with teenage buyers, some school officials wonder whether or not the T-shirts will give rise to disciplinary action on the part of school administrators. Others, however, believe that the simple T-shirts could have a vital impact on anti-bullying attitudes on campuses nationwide.
Louie Marven of the LGBT Community Center Coalition of Central Pennsylvania believes that anything that breaks down barriers – even a T-shirt – is a good thing in the fight against LGBT bullying.
Meanwhile, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association James P. Testerman doubts that the T-shirts will instigate problems or restrictive action.
“As long as it’s part of student expression that does not interrupt the educational environment, there shouldn’t be any problems,” Testerman noted.
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