Quick content warning: this post touches on homophobia and includes images of some homophobic slurs.
Scott Whalen and I went to college together, so when he asked me – over cocktails and Ru Paul’s Drag Race – about an idea he had for some shirts, I was totally game.
The idea was to reclaim slurs that had been used against him and other queer folks in a series of t-shirts. He told me that, as a cis white dude, he felt he had the privilege to make the more provocative statements and, thus, a responsibility.
During our initial concept conversation, we discussed a simple sans serif block letter, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how we might better convey the idea that these were being employed by someone at Scott, not just employed by Scott. He asked for something that was bold and aggressive, and something active vs passive.
I came back to him with a few ideas: including a westboro baptist sign feel, a scrawl on a locker, or a social media platform. I wanted it to be clear that the words had been employed at Scott, not by Scott.