The fashion retailer Diesel has come under fire following the release of a new jacket – a black satin bomber plastered with a homophobic slur.
The £350 garment is part of the brand’s “Hate Couture” collection, which sells clothes covered in provocative terms, in what it says is a bid to encourage customers to appropriate hateful comments.
Launching the line last month, Diesel partnered with celebrities who have been vocal about the online abuse they suffered, including Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane, Bella Thorne and Tommy Dorfman, who each chose a word to appear on an item of clothing in the range.
Dorfman, an American actor known for his role as Ryan Shaver in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, chose the word “faggot”.
Reacting to the garment, which appears on Diesek’s UK site, a spokesperson for Stonewall, Britain’s leading charity for LGBT equality, told HuffPost UK: “It’s a sad fact that homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic language is still far too common in Britain. The reaction to this is a reminder of the negative and lasting effect of the hateful language LGBT people hear in their everyday lives.”
An online user @da_stone tweeted: “Please tell me this is a joke. I get the message you’re trying to convey but as a gay and a long time customer of Diesel, I’m appalled at this! @DIESEL.”
Another, @NickHorbowyj, wrote: “Is
@DIESEL drunk? I’m no snowflake but this is horrendous.”
Matt Bagwell, an editor at HuffPost UK, added: “Seriously? I don’t need to waste £350 to increase my risk of getting queer bashed, thanks
“People experience that for free every single day. Also, did I miss the memo about the gays reclaiming that word? No, I did not.”
On Thursday Stonewall revealed new data that revealed LGBT people are at a higher risk of experiencing mental health problems than the general population.
The research, based on YouGov polling of over 5,000 LGBT people, shows more than half of LGBT people have experienced depression in the last year, and three in five had anxiety.
This compares to one in six adults in England who faced a common mental health problem, such as anxiety and depression, according to Mind.
Experiences of anti-LGBT abuse and discrimination on the street, at home, and at work were also revealed to significantly increase the risk of poor mental health. Two-thirds of LGBT people who’ve been the victim of a hate crime experienced depression, while three in four reported having episodes of anxiety.
The study also reveals a shockingly high level of hostility and unfair treatment faced by many LGBT people when accessing healthcare services.
On the basis of this report, Stonewall is calling for better training for all health and social care staff, with specific guidance on how to meet the needs of LGBT patients.
Diesel told HuffPost UK: “Diesel strongly feels that bullying is one of the critical issues of our times. Bullying in all forms effects millions worldwide and we are committed to using our platform to raise awareness for this issue. Creating Hate Couture our aim has always been to disempower those that create the hate and manifest negativity.
The company will donate a portion of sales from Hate Couture to the Ali Forney Centre, selected by Dorfman, whose “mission is to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently.”