Over the past several months, the media has been ablaze with stories about how the gay community continuously faces discrimination and hate. The scrutiny has come from all directions: corporations, the government and, most recently, fashion icon Giorgio Armani.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, the 80-year-old designer expressed his belief that a homosexual man should not dress as such if he wants to be considered a man. After reaffirming that “A homosexual man is a man, 100 percent,” he went on to say, “He does not need to dress homosexual.”
“When homosexuality is exhibited to the extreme to say: ‘Ah, you know I’m homosexual,’ that has nothing to do with me,” he continued. “A man has to be a man.”
These brief but hateful comments sparked immediate controversy on social media, particularly on Twitter. One tweet said, “I have never wanted to dress ‘too gay’ as much as I do now. Please send me a ‘too gay’ example Georgio @armani and I’ll flaunt it.” Others have even chosen to boycott the label: “I’d rather be dressed in drag than spotted in Armani Xchange or any of his other vile labels.”
Armani’s words seem particularly puzzling because of his largely homosexual fan base. This irony was not lost on the gay community, who felt particularly betrayed by the interview. One fashion blogger sarcastically tweeted, “Mr Armani said homosexuals should stop dressing gay. So here are his most heterosexual designs” and featured pictures of several of Armani’s designs popular among the gay community.
Many were also left confused because Armani’s words seemed contradictory. His comments imply that gay men, while they are men “100 percent,” do not reserve the same freedom as straight men to dress how they want.
This scandal comes one month after Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana made headlines for their negative remarks about gay parents raising children.