Shirt Exposes the Biggest Hypocrisy in the Gay Community

April 30th 2016

Lucy Tiven

Online clothing store Marek + Richard just released a controversial shirt that sends a troubling message about discrimination in gay hookup culture. The tank top — which has, rather disturbingly, sold out — reads "No Fats, No Fems," a phrase popularized on Grindr and used to communicate that a gay man is not interested in heavy or "feminine" sexual partners, Mic reported.

Twitter users were quick to call BS on the brand.

Some critics believed the shirt was indicative of an intolerant attitude held by white, cisgender gay men at large and found the brand hypocritical for voicing support for LGBT equality while also discriminating against potential partners due to their body types, races, and expressions of gender.

Drag queen Kim Chi responded by creating a positive shirt reading "yas fats, yas femmes, yas azns."

The company fired back, saying it was meant as a joke.

Many people didn't buy it, and pointed out that the model depicted in the shirt and the company's other garments suggested that the message was meant in earnest.

Body shaming in the LGBT community continues to be a problem.

While there has been more support for the LGBT community, it still faces pressures both from outside and within. As Mic pointed out, studies have shown that gay men often face psychological pressure to adhere to masculine stereotypes, and are at particularly high risk to suffer from eating disorders.

What's troubling is that some of the imposed physical and social rules come from LGBT members themselves. A study published last month found that a third of gay men have experienced fat shaming at least once even though they were not overweight. Perhaps surprising is the fact that the most common source of anti-fat shaming came from their potential romantic partners. As Nico Lang wrote on The Daily Beast, "To be overweight is, thus, to be considered simultaneously weak and feminine, so much so that the Grindr commandment against “fats and femmes” is almost always a package deal."

Singling out your aesthetic deal-breakers on an item of clothing may be in bad taste, but it is most disturbing that these designers have seemingly made it a point to encourage body shaming and reinforce the already-substantial negative stigma of acting or looking effeminate as a homosexual man.

ATTN: reached out to Marek + Richard for comment and will update this post if and when we hear back.

[h/t Mic]