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“It Gets Better” with Old Navy

By Tony Peregrin in News on May 27, 2011 4:40PM

Old Navy

Old Navy isn’t the first retail chain to ride the gay pride rainbow wave, but it’s likely the largest. Starting Monday, Old Navy (owned by Gap, Inc., which owns Gap, Banana Republic, and Piperlime) is launching a line of gay pride-themed T-shirts sized for men, women, and babies, with 10% of the proceeds going to the It Gets Better Project.

Say what you will about the debatable quality and style of Old Navy’s apparel, we kind of like the idea of moms, dads, and teens browsing in malls across America and unexpectedly coming across t-shirts emblazoned with the words “Love proudly, Old Navy Pride 2011.” Considering that some wingnuts started foaming at the mouth after the pink toe-mageddon crisis of 2011, we’re mightily impressed by these Old Navy tees promoting love and acceptance to the masses.

Old Navy’s pride t-shirts follow in the footsteps of a small, but notable list of high-end designers—notably Marc Jacobs and Kenneth Cole—who have released limited edition t-shirts in support of marriage equality, as well as American Apparel, whose “Legalize Gay” t-shirts continue to be top-sellers (despite the shenanigans of its sketchy CEO, Dov Charney).

Admittedly, the Old Navy pride t-shirt collection could have pushed the boundaries a little more, oh, say, like the “Queer + Str8= Equal” shirt worn by bisexual high school student Jesse Irey last month. And yes, Irey was kicked out of school for wearing the shirt, even though other kids were wearing shirts expressing what can be politely termed as “intolerance.”

Maybe for next year’s Gay Pride month, Old Navy (or its more stylish older sibling Banana Republic) will actually include the word “gay” on it’s pride apparel, or maybe it’ll get more creative and design pride shirts like this or this.

The limited edition Old Navy pride t-shirt collection, priced at $7.50 to $14.50, includes four designs that are available until June 30th.