Is an #AMPLIFY Tee Shirt (fundraiser) a Useful Form of Resistance? #GivingTuesday

Here’s our appeal for #GivingTuesday. We need to raise $600.

We’ve kicked around the idea of a tee shirt fundraiser in the past, but never came up with a concept beyond using our logo (designed by Kai Devenitch):

amplify-logo_med-1

The ongoing discussion of wearing safety pins combined with this creative anarchist button response got me thinking that right now might be the time we need a little #AMPLIFY?

Buttons produced by Anarchist Collective as an act of solidarity.
Buttons produced by Anarchist Collective as an act of solidarity.

We put our heads together with some tee-shirt experts including Kai, John from Avenue Design Studio, The Pittsburgh Printing Press and Commonwealth Press as well as an able assist from Davon Magwood of the ‘God Hates Jags’ shirts.

We want a shirt that emphasizes that storytelling is an act of solidarity, references the project and gives people cues to find us without being an overt promotional effort. I described my vision as a shirt that you can wear with ease to a protest, a PFLAG meeting and a bar as an act of solidarity, too.

Our logo, as you know, was designed with pink triangles to capture the queer (and trans) sensibility of the project while providing a modicum of discretion should that be necessary. That’s why some versions of the logo spell out LGBTQ and others do not. But promoting the project via the logo isn’t enough. We wanted to do something more, to send a message that if you see someone in this shirt – they are both safe (in terms of being an ally in a public space should that be needed) and revolutionary.

So we have a survey up (10 questions) to determine the level of interest in the shirts. If you might possibly buy one, please chime in. We are planning to offer people the option of donating a shirt to someone else involved with the project, so if you’d like to receive a donated shirt – please chime in, too. The only caveat is that will prioritize people who have contributed a Q&A to receive donated shirts. To share your story via the Q&A, click here (takes about 30 minutes.)

To be honest, we are starting with one color and one style to keep things simple. Crew neck is carrying the day both in terms of popularity AND because someone has pointed out to me that crew necks are a better fit over binders. I understand someone opting not to buy a shirt because they don’t *like* the fit, but I’d hate for someone to opt out because the fit compromises their gender expression and personal safety. We are also going to use a bright pink shirt (see logo) with black ink to again keep things simple and minimize expenses.

If the shirts sell well, we can consider other options in terms of vneck, ‘ladies fit,’ and shirt colors. We’ll also consider the tote bags and hats and such. All of those suggestions and more remain on the table, down the road.

But we have to start somewhere. And this is our starting point – a pink crew neck shirt in sizes XS to 4X. We will sell them for $25/shirt. To get that going, we need to raise about $600 to cove the production and design fees ahead of time.

If you’d like to help us raise the $600, you can mail a check to our current fiscal sponsor (we switch to Persad in January if that’s confusing). Please include a note saying this is specifically for the #AMPLIFY project so the person opening the envelopes knows where to direct your donation.

Bloomfield Garfield Corporation
5149 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

You can also donate online via our Crowdrise account if you like. All donations between now and Friday will do directly to the tee shirt production fund.

This is my very terrible rough draft of the image we are working with right now. Trust me, this will not be the final cut.

My horrible attempt to illustrate a protest sign held by two different hands/arm with an #AMPLIFY tattoo and a pink triangle tattoo.
My horrible attempt to illustrate a protest sign held by two different hands/arm with an #AMPLIFY tattoo and a pink triangle tattoo.

In a previous post, I shared the fact that some troll is already using the survey to post death wishes against me. It is very annoying and angering that someone has to get that much in our business simply to express their grudge.

But it does reinforce why maybe the tee shirt could be a useful tool? Let us know what you think, please.

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