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Some People Are Pissed Off With American Apparel For Using The Term "Ally" On Its Pride Bag

The company says it strives to be "inclusive" in its language and merchandise.

Originally posted on
Updated on

On its website it described the collection as "styles that stand for acceptance".

However some people are annoyed with the brand for using the term "ally" on its LGBTQ tote bag. The criticism began when American Apparel posted this picture on its Instagram account.

Instagram: @americanapparelusa

The identification term "ally" describes straight and cisgender people who support the LGBT social movement. They want to help the LGBT community achieve equality by fighting homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.

However there are straight people who are heavily involved in the movement but don't use this identification.

In the acronym LGBTQIA, "A" most commonly stands for "asexual", but also terms such as "aromantic" and "agender". It is less commonly used for "ally", as American Apparel has suggested on its tote bag.

Asexual describes someone who is not sexually attracted to anyone. Aromantic describes someone who is not romantically attracted to anyone. Agender describes someone doesn't identify as a man or a woman.

Reaction to the bag continued on Twitter. YouTuber Tyler Oakley has tweeted about it.

allies are appreciated... but a good ally doesn't erase members of the community they're trying to support. read: https://t.co/plUmbDI4M6

Some users discussed GLAAD's campaign #GotYourBack in comparison with the American Apparel tote bag. In 2015 the media monitoring organisation published a post to clarify that #GotYourBack does not exclude asexual, agender, or aromantic people.

.@americanapparel you have a typo! Ask @glaad and #GiveItBack

People used #GiveItBack to express their thoughts on the tote bag.

@americanapparel @funnyordie Stop publicizing #AsexualErasure and acting like you've done a good deed! #AceNotAlly #GiveItBack

Others were annoyed because they said Pride Month should not celebrate straight people who support the LGBT social movement.

@americanapparel Pride month is not for Allies. You will have no choice but to hear us. We are here #giveitback #acepride

3. So American Apparel has this tote bag ensloganed with the rainbow alphabet and they seem to think the "A" stands for "ally."

While some feel American Apparel's use of "ally" says a lot about how asexual people are perceived.

American Apparel making the A stand for Ally says everything about how invisible ace people are in our society.

.@americanapparel has misstepped once again... #GiveItBack https://t.co/tpmZGT1mRo

American Apparel tweeted this statement regarding the controversy.

But this didn't do much to calm people down.

.@americanapparel so allies are still more important to queer communities than queer people? #GiveItBack

@americanapparel Focusing on allies actually make you bad allies. We know allies are important, but you're erasing identities! #GiveItBack

BuzzFeed News contacted American Apparel but the firm declined to comment further beyond the statement posted on Twitter.

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