We just found today’s Queer-o. (That’s “queer hero,” for those who have not heard this term which we just invented.) Today’s Queer-o is the BBC for pointing out that H&M and Levi’s Pride clothing is partly being made in countries where homosexuality is illegal.
On the surface, this is somewhat badass. It’s like if gender reassignment surgeries were being performed in Jeff Sessions’ house, or if reading were secretly being taught in the White House.
But it’s also kind of fucked up. It’s like if Mexican food were being enjoyed in a country that hates Mexicans, or if merchandise promoting women’s empowerment were being produced by Ivanka Trump. Oh wait.
But according to BBC Newsnight, some of H&M’s Pride range — which includes t-shirts, bags, and caps celebrating queer culture and empowerment — are made in Bangladesh, where homosexuality is not only looked down upon but punishable with life imprisonment.
Steve Taylor, director of EuroPride, an umbrella group for European Pride organisers, criticised H&M and Levi’s for manufacturing products in countries where homosexuality is not allowed.
“They shouldn’t be making these products in countries where LGBT equality isn’t a reality,” he said.
“It’s a bit of a smack in the face for somebody who goes to work every day, printing Pride on a t-shirt, but if they were to wear that to walk down the street they would probably be killed.”
H&M items from its Pride range are also manufactured in Turkey and China, where homophobia is rampant. Indeed, the Turkish capital Ankara banned all gay festivals, screenings, forums and exhibitions on “security grounds,” so you know they’re probably thrilled about the fact that people in their country are sewing Pride ascots.
Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy recently modeled pieces from the Pride Out Loud collection for H&M. It is unclear if the garments he wore were produced in anti-LGBTQ rights countries.
Anyway, what we’re essentially getting at here is that you can’t even wear a Pride shirt now without oppressing someone.