The other day, I posted a story about Old Navy taking a bold step in creating a t-shirt to be sold in their stores celebrating Gay Pride in June. It was and is a cool story. Unfortunately, there’s a side that’s not so cool, but it can be remedied. You see, Old Navy isn’t selling the shirt in all their stores, in all states. This is a weak move on their part, as it suggests that they’re willing to support gay people, but only insofar as they can do it in places where they won’t “offend” people. Um, Old Navy? Due to the internet, anyone who is really going to go berserk over a gay pride t-shirt is already going berserk. Hate groups such as the American Family Association are likely to assault you with form e-mails from at least fifty to sixty of their most restless, chairborne followers. And I hate to break this to you, but those people don’t shop at your establishment in the first place [and they certainly don't shop at The Gap, much less Banana Republic.]
At this point, I know for sure that the shirts will not be available in Tennessee, Kentucky or North Carolina. I have sent an e-mail to the corporate headquarters asking for clarification as to where they will be, where they won’t, and why, and I’ll update when I have more information.
UPDATE: Okay, here’s where the shirts are being sold:
The shirts, which feature rainbows and the phrase “Love Proudly” (but no “gay” words), will only be available at 26 stores (out of more than 1,000) in 19 cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Honolulu, Cambridge, Bloomington, Minneapolis, Huntington, Las Vegas, Columbus, Portland, Austin, Philadelphia, McClean, Seattle and Madison.
To be clear, I think it’s GREAT that they’re doing this in the first place. But those are all really, really safe places for them to launch this. But believe me, there are kids in lots of other towns who would benefit from seeing the shirt on the racks, even if their parents won’t buy it for them. And don’t worry — the gays in those towns will buy up the stock, so it’s not going to be a matter of inventory just sitting there. C’mon, guys…