Gay For America Aims to Change Way People Think of the Word ‘Gay,’ Gives Back to HRC

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Gay For America aims to change the way people think of the word "gay" with merchandise promoting Gay For followed by trending icons with strong emotional appeal. The company will launch at NYC Pride on June 29, 2013, and will donate a portion of proceeds from all sales to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

The Gay For NYC design, one of five currently available from Gay For America.

Gay For NYC design

"Being Gay For something is providing your ultimate stamp of approval," commented Eric Sagun, a principal for Gay For America.

Gay For America is set to launch at NYC Pride on Friday, June 29, 2013, with one mission: to change the way people think of the word “gay.” To do so will require the participation of chests, phones, throw pillows and more by courageous and proud Americans in New York and throughout the country. Visitors to NYC Pride will find the Gay For America (GFA) tent, booth #C5, on Hudson Street between Jane Street and Horatio Street.

The company produces merchandise with “Gay For” followed by trending icons with strong emotional appeal. GFA’s five designs include Gay For Bacon, Gay For NYC, Gay For Beer, Gay For Moustache (via symbol), and Gay For Him/Her (via arrow symbol). Two additional designs, Gay For USA (via flag symbol) and Gay For LA, also are planned. Shirts will be available at NYC Pride booth #C5 and online at gayforamerica.com, with other branded merchandise at http://society6.com/GayForAmerica.

“Being Gay For something is providing your ultimate stamp of approval,” commented Eric Sagun, a principal for Gay For America. “We were certainly inspired by the iconic I Love (via heart symbol) NY campaign and imagined what a similar effort could do for the word ‘gay.’ So now it’s time to stop ‘hearting’ NY and start getting Gay For it.”

Gay For America, based in New York, N. Y., with principals in Columbus, Ohio and Los Angeles, Calif., believes the timing is right to put a positive connotation on “gay” since marriage equality has marched to forefront of political and cultural debate. A March 2013 CBS News poll showed 53 percent of Americans believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, while a Pew Research study revealed an overwhelming 70 percent of Millenials, young adults born after 1980, favor same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court will deliver landmark decisions on two gay marriage lawsuits before June 30, 2013.

History may be on the company’s side since the word “gay” has drastically evolved over time. “Gay” originally referenced feelings of being “happy” and “carefree.” The word’s tie to homosexuality became strong throughout the 1900s, with derisive use referencing stupidity and disapproval (“That’s so gay”) peaking in the late 20th century.

“More and more Americans recognize what a single word can do to bully, intimidate and repress others. By promoting Gay For as something positive and loving, we can literally change the conversation about gay in this country,” Sagun said.

Gay For America hopes its efforts further promote The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Ad Council sponsored ThinkB4YouSpeak.com. ThinkB4YouSpeak aims to raise awareness about the harmful effects of negative language about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals (LGBT), specifically targeting the phrase “That’s so gay.”

A portion of proceeds from sales of all Gay For merchandise will benefit the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The HRC works at the forefront of efforts to establish equal rights for all Americans, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. Founded in 1980, HRC advocates on behalf of LGBT Americans, mobilizes grassroots actions in diverse communities, invests strategically to elect fair-minded individuals to office and educates the public about LGBT issues.

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Gay For America is a for-profit company with one mission: to change the way people think of the word "gay." Gay For America produces merchandise with "Gay For" followed by trending icons with strong emotional appeal. The company's t-shirts are available at gayforamerica.com with other merchandise at society6.com/GayForAmerica. A portion of proceeds from all merchandise sales will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an organization dedicated to establish equal rights fo all Americans, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

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Eric Sagun

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