Eminently Visible: The Role of T-Shirts in Gay and Lesbian Public Advocacy and Community Building

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3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Beginning with coded statements of identity in the early days of the gay rights struggle and moving on to more upfront public declarations of visibility, T-shirts have offered a way for gays and lesbians and their allies to quite literally announce their presence on the political stage for the purposes of both enhancing solidarity and advancing public rhetoric. By visibly marking the bodies of wearers and publicly identifying their sexual identities or political views, T-shirts contribute to a broader project of gay and lesbian public visibility that has held a central place in attempts to transform the social and political world. This study draws upon both archival materials and interviews with contemporary wearers of gay- and lesbian-themed T-shirts in order to document the meaningful role that this pervasive yet often-ignored popular medium of visual communication has played and continues to play for gay and lesbian public advocacy and community building.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-302
Number of pages14
JournalPopular Communication
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013

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