Clothes are political ultimately. No matter whether you think about it or not, what you wear gives others insight into how you view yourself, and more importantly how you want to be viewed. That said, there are a few garments that certainly heighten the stakes, making your viewpoint clear — let's say a red ballcap with white text or even just a slogan t-shirt. Our favorite piece right now? The "Promote Homosexuality" tees that Willie Norris is selling on his newly launched webstore.
Though Norris has been selling t-shirts, socks, and a few other screen-printed pieces online over the last year or so, as of last week the designer has launched a permanent online venture. The new site, which was entirely coded and designed by Norris over the past year, will be more intentional about product availability, distancing itself from the "drops" of the past.
With the launch, Norris has released five slogans, all of which should be familiar to his growing fandom, in a variety of shirts — screen-printed or embroidered with both long and short sleeves. Among the options: "Queer Capital," "Incite Queerness," "What's In It For Me," and our favorites "Promote Homosexuality" and "What Exactly Is Heterosexuality and What Causes It?" The designer, who also designs for the fashion brand Outlier, says that he launched with these options as they are the ones he gets asked about the most.
"My PROMOTE HOMOSEXUALITY shirts are meant to be a provocative conversation starter, meant to both encourage self-awareness and reinforce the individual and collective power of the wearer," Norris tells Out of the design in an email interview. He previously noted to Out that the phrase itself was pulled from Queer Nation, an activist group from the 1980s. "I think a huge part of the appeal of the slogan is how open for interpretation it is. Some days, it reads as hilarious and border-line silly to me. Other days, it takes on a bit more serious tone. Other days I don’t think about it all. It is fantastically adaptable to many different situations and moods." But, whatever the mood, we are in love.
The "What Exactly Is Heterosexuality" design is similarly compelling. On the back, there's pamphlet like text answering the inquiry suggesting that "hormonal imbalance," "fear of death," "social conditioning." and "childhood trauma" are possible causes. What else would you rather put on your body right now? Especially in this political moment?
The short-sleeved options retail for $35 while the long-sleeved designs are $45.