Cry Me a River

Transphobes are Pissed at Adidas’ New Pride Merch

Rainbow merch season is nearly upon us. But while Pride merch has become so ubiquitous that most fly under the radar (unless you’re Target), one particular apparel item has right-wing bigots in shambles.

Adidas has partnered with queer South ​​African designer Rich Mnisi for the Let Love Be Your Legacy collection. The new range includes both apparel and footwear for football, cycling, swim, Sportswear and Adidas Originals.

“The range is inspired by a love letter Mnisi wrote to his younger self, in which he declares Let Love Be Your Legacy – serving as his mission statement, but also a rallying cry for active allyship to empower and champion the LGBTQIA+ community,” Adidas wrote in a press release announcing the collection.

In addition to dynamic rainbow patterns, the collection features trans-inclusive swimwear. The Pride Swimsuit is a one-piece bathing suit worn on the site by a model whose gender is unknown but who does not appear to be a cis woman. According to transphobes, this one item is responsible for erasing women, despite literally thousands of other apparel products marketed to cis women.

In addition to being review-bombed on the site, the swimsuit is now the target of a social media and the right wing press hate mob. This includes the usual suspects, Libs of TikTok and anti-trans troll Oli London, along with former athletes Riley Gaines and Sharron Davies—all rallying around this single garment of clothing.

The backlash against trans-inclusive corporate brands is now part of an all-too familiar cycle. More recently, the target has been trans beauty influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Ulta, Nike, and Bud Light have faced harassment campaigns for featuring Mulvaney in advertising and marketing content. One transphobe was so enraged that he was arrested for a rampage in a supermarket in which he destroyed the wrong brand of beer.

Ulta, Nike, and Bud Light ultimately backed Mulvaney (with a lukewarm statement in the case of Bud Light). At the time of writing, Adidas has yet to respond to the backlash.

“In creating this collection, I had a strong impulse to speak to my inner-child and express to the world how LGBTQIA+ allyship can create a legacy of love,” Mnisi elaborated on the vision for the Adidas Pride collaboration.

“Unifying these themes together through my own visual language and adidas’ iconic performance and lifestyle pieces is a powerful combination – making the collection a symbol for self-acceptance and LGBTQIA+ advocacy. My hope is this range inspires LGBTQIA+ allies to speak up more for the queer people they love and not let them fight for acceptance alone.”

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