American Apparel Faces Backlash For Pride Collection Bag

American Apparel is known for its support of the LGBTQ community almost as much as its lamé leggings and controversial advertising. But one of the items in the clothing company’s Pride 2016 collection is drawing ire for what critics say is exclusionary language.

The line, which Buzzfeed reports was created in partnership with Human Rights Campaign, includes shirts with rainbow American flags or hats that say "Make America Gay Again." But at question is a canvas tote bag released by the company, which shows the slogan "Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Transgender/Queer/Ally," spelled out in rainbow letters.

The problem? The “A” in LGBTQA+ traditionally stands for “asexual” or sometimes “agender,” representing those who either don’t feel sexual attraction or identify outside the gender spectrum. Instead, the company chose to use “ally,” which critics say erases asexual individuals from the discussion.

On the company’s Instagram, user @megthepanda laid it out in a comment: “Allies do not need representation. Asexuals do. The message of items such as this are meant to be that everyone is loved and everyone is worthwhile. Society already tells allies this; that's why asexual erasure cannot be disregarded. The A is a source of strength for the asexual community and should not be taken away in order to thank heterosexuals for being decent human beings.”

On Twitter, people began using the hashtag #GiveItBack, a reference to GLAAD's #GotYourBack hashtag for allies, to try to prompt the company to change the line.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Friday, the company stood by its product, saying that the company "believed in the power of allies to speak up."

More from Shopping

While most people count down the days until holidays, vacations, or birthdays, my calendar fills with red X’s until it’s finally fall. From leaves changing...
Who needs words these days with so many emoji keyboards to choose from — and to do the talking for us? On the heels of Kimoji, ChyMoji, and all the other -...
This post was originally published on April 22, 2016. Like mom jeans, it's a little funny when a stereotype sparks a fashion obsession. And while it took ...
Flex dancing, a dance form characterized by rhythmic waving, gliding, and contorting of the body, is often thought of as a man’s world. But there are a few...
From heading straight to the men’s section to memorizing the company’s delivery schedule, every dedicated shopper seems to have their own tips and tricks ...
This post was originally published on July 28th, 2016. The business-casual dress code is one of the most difficult to define, and that might have ...
This post was originally published in March 2016. You've done the research, talked to some friends about it, and decided it's time to quit fast fashion ...
(Paid Content) Classic white Keds have been in my shoe rotation since I was a wee one. As a picky shopper early on, this simple and economical option was ...
Sometimes, one glance at your Google calendar for the next day can leave your head spinning — how on earth will you get it all done? Maybe you've got a ...
This post was originally published on August 23, 2016. As great as summer dressing may be (the skimpy tank tops, breezy dresses, and super-short shorts ...
You never want something until you can't have it. So, each week in The Sell-Out, we're getting the scoop from your favorite retailers on what's selling ...
Some trends are easy to dive into head-first: Give us all the athleisure in the world, and we're definitely not complaining. Because no matter how many ...
We first heard about Nike's plans to really, truly make the self-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future Part II a reality back in March, after the ...
This story was originally published on October 8, 2015. You can expect to see a certain set of characters at every Halloween party. Cher Horowitz is in ...