Toronto - This week, the world’s first and only ‘gay’ object – a sweater knit from the donated hair of more than 100 LGBT people – makes its debut during Toronto Fashion Week. Appearing ahead of this summer’s upcoming Pride Week celebrations in Toronto, New York, San Francisco and London, The Gay Sweater was created to make people everywhere understand that it is incorrect and offensive to use language like ‘that’s so gay’ to negatively describe something.
#TheGaySweater also aims to raise awareness of the detrimental effects that such misuse of the word ‘gay’ has on LGBT youth. The project is an initiative of The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD).
“The idea for the sweater was born from a desire to educate and encourage everyone to use ‘gay’ the correct way,” said Jeremy Dias, director of the CCGSD. “We want the conversation that surrounds the gay sweater to inspire those who are using ‘gay’ in a detrimental way to both realize the negative impact their words and actions are having and change their behaviour.”
Along with the sweater, a short film at thegaysweater.ccgsd-ccdgs.org gives voice to youth who have been impacted by the derogatory use of the word ‘gay’ and showcases the process that went into creating the one-of-a-kind sweater. Using the sweater and the film, the CCGSD is hoping to start a much-needed conversation that encourages everyone to think before they use hurtful words like ‘gay’ in a negative way. Readers can follow that conversation and all sweater-related content on the website and by searching the hashtag #TheGaySweater.
Stylist Jennifer McConville of CBC News Now styled models wearing the sweater at David Pecaut Square.
About The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity
The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) intersectionally promotes diversity in gender identity, gender expression, and romantic and/or sexual orientation in all its forms on a national level through services in the areas of education, health, and advocacy. What began as Jer’s Vision in 2005, the newly named CCGSD uses resources and programming to uplift gender and sexual minorities, as well as give the tools to wider populations in building allyship.
As a leader in anti-discrimination work, CCGSD runs programming all over Canada and the United States, reaching 250,000 people annually. The CCGSD is also a proud leader in the International Day of Pink (DayOfPink.org) engaging millions of people in wearing pink and to run programs that stand up to bullying. Find out more about CCGSD, the International Day of Pink and get involved in making your community a safer and more diverse place at http://ccgsd-ccdgs.org/.