President Obama proclaimed June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month,” and Old Navy has decided to get in on the act.
As part of the celebration, Gap Inc. has launched their own campaign through Old Navy to promote gay acceptance called “Love Proudly: Pride 2011.”
For the entire month, or while supplies last, the clothing company will be selling rainbow colored gay pride t-shirts in 27 select stores with the slogan “Love Proudly.” A portion of the proceeds will go to the anti-bullying “It Gets Better” Project.
“June is Ready to make a fashion statement for a great cause?” Old Navy announced on Facebook. “We’re carrying colorful Gay Pride t-shirts in select stores with 10% of the proceeds going to the It Gets Better Project!”
The family store wants members of the LGBT community to feel comfortable in their skin and the community.
“Many LGBT youth can’t picture what their lives might be like as openly LGBT adults,” Old Navy wrote. “They can’t imagine a future for themselves.” The It Gets Better Project is a place where the young LGBT community can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future from fellow peers and straight allies.”
According to Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, the campaign is foolish and will be unprofitable because it has angered both sides of the political spectrum.
“This is a lose situation for them. Because they have made the gays and transgender people mad and they are making the pro-family people mad,” she told TheDC “[The gay community] is mad because they are not in all the stores, they have over a thousand locations and they are only in 27 stores.”
Indeed the Facebook message boards have many complaints from people who want to buy a shirt, but are unable to because of the sparse number of stores actually carrying them.
“The nearest store that you sell these in is 3 hours away, the other is 5! It would be nice if they were at least online!” wrote one Facebook commenter.
“Not fair! I really want one of these shirts but you guys aren’t selling them anywhere near me!” wrote another.
Lafferty said she will not shop at Old Navy again.
In a statement Gap Inc. explained that the project is part of their larger 15 year old “famous flag t-shirt collection”
“As we do with a lot of our newer items, we created a limited supply to support the ‘It Gets Better Project’, an organization dedicated to helping prevent suicide among LGBT youth, and rolled them out to stores in 26 markets (these are listed on our Facebook page under “events.”),” they wrote in their statement. “Customers not in those markets can contact their local Old Navy store, to order a t-shirt to be shipped to them.”