Tyler, The Creator has designed a gay pride T-shirt for his Golf Wang clothing label with a rainbow White Pride World Wide logo emblazoned across the front.
The Odd Future rapper, 24, used the the anti-gay slur ‘faggot’ 213 times on his 2011 debut album Goblin, a term he claims is ‘just another word.’
But why the neo-Nazi insignia? Tyler posted an explanation of his thought process on Tumblr, along with a photo of him wearing the T-shirt and holding hands with a white man.
‘What if a black guy wore this logo on a shirt? Would he be promoting self hate? Would he be taking the power out of a shape? What if a gay guy wore this on a shirt? Would he promoting Homophobia? Then BAM! I Had it. Throw a little rainbow in the logo ( i still wonder, who was the guy that said a rainbow is the gay symbol? thats another article stay tuned) and take a photo with a white guy in it and we have an amazing photo,’ he wrote.
‘The thing that tops it off is the homo erotic tone of the hand holding, which to some degree HAS to piss off the guys who takes this logo serious. This made the photo even more important to me, because it was me playing with the idea of taking the power out of something so stupid.’
Tyler also responded to criticism of his use of the faggot.
‘ever since my career started, ive been labeled as a homophobe, simply because of my use of the word faggot,’ he wrote.
‘Again, trying to take the power out of something, I WAS NEVER REFERRING TO SOMEONES SEXUAL PREFERENCE WHEN USING THAT WORD.
‘I mean, i’m legit one of the least homophobic guys to walk this earth but, most people just read the surface. But maybe someone will see this photo and say ” hey, he’s just mocking gays” or ” this has a negative undertone to it, he is still pushing this homophobic whatever the fuck it is”.
The T-shirts have been met with mixture of praise and skepticism.
GQ is ‘sold’ on the T-shirts: ‘Tyler is taking symbols that oppress him as a black man, and using them to empathize with gay men.’
While New York magazine found his attempt to subvert neo-Nazi propaganda for gay rights was ‘admirable but naive:’ ‘These T-shirts are Tyler’s way of showing support for those he may have offended — without ever actually apologizing for his grievances.’