Gay Rights Charities on the Hunt for Designer to Create Olympic Anti-Homophobia Outfit

SochiTwo gay rights charities have announced plans to unveil an anti-homophobia outfit for Olympians to wear in Sochi next year as a sign of solidarity with global LGBT equality. Vogue reports that Athlete Ally and All Out are currently looking for a high profile, international designer to create the motif:

The design that the Olympians will wear during the forthcoming games should "powerfully reject the anti-gay propaganda law in solidarity with Russian groups demanding equal rights", said All Out co-founder and executive director Andre Banks.

"One of the most effective things we can do at the games is to amass a global army of athlete allies who demonstrate their support for the LGBT citizens of Russia and LGBT athletes around the world," said Brian Ellner, Athlete Ally Board Member and LGBT Rights strategist. "We look forward to partnering on the development of that symbol."


  1. Zlick says

    Great idea. Now find some straight athletes with some convictions outside of sports and the courage to stand up for them.

    I won’t be holding my breath while the search for them is on.

  2. Bill says

    How about a picture of the ‘pink planet’ recently discovered, and the words “Our planet is bigger than your planet”. Then when they arrest you for “gay propaganda,” you can say the shirt is just about astronomy.

    In more detail, put the pink planet on one
    side, next to the Olympic symbols (rings) with
    the phrase below the rings.

  3. JONES says

    Map of Russian with outline of Nazi Germany pink triangle for armbands, flags, pins.

    Russian constitutional state seal on black background with outline of Nazi pink triangle imposed. Flags, T’s, armbands.

    Russian constitutional state seal and national flag with ‘404’ imposed. LGBT youth have embraced this logo as their identifying mark of state denial.

    Recently a Russian equality protestor was arrested for unfurling banner which read ‘Gay in Normal’ in front of Russian High School. Elegantly simple yet profoundly truthful considering Russia claims anti-gay LGBT laws were enacted to protect children.

  4. Jeff says

    Athletes with any backbone and sense of morality would JustStayHome! The biggest snub to Putin possible. Athletes (of their own accord, not their country’s) – Just Stay Home. There WILL be LOTs of other venues.


  5. Stolidog says

    Our voices will be best heard if we simply choose not to watch the Olympics….it’s the corporate sponsors that can pressure Russia directly, not us.

  6. Dude says

    OMG, Gilbert, you made Pepsi come out of my nose…

    Rainbow flags for just $3,500, and YOU have the GALL and AUDACITY to accuse someone else of tacky, greedy, marketing…

    And I actually AGREE wholeheartedly with you.

    I guess you’d be the leading authority !

    ROFL !

  7. Dude says

    PS, thanks for all the good things you’ve done, and I don’t mean that as a snark at all.

  8. Bill says

    @Jeff: How about instead, all the spectators cancel and stay home – even if they can’t cancel their Olympic tickets, they can cancel their flights and hotel reservations. Then the athletes, who have been working very hard for this event for years, get to go and a fortunate few get to win their medals, while the Russians lose where it counts – in their pocketbooks. They’ll have all the expenses of running a Winter Olympics with little revenue to offset it.

    If spectators do go, they can simply refuse to buy any souvenirs and spend as little at restaurants as possible. That will also hit the Russians where it hurts.

    Athletes don’t have to hand out fliers or demonstrate either – all they have to do is to be obviously supportive or friendly towards known, openly gay athletes. If asked, a straight athlete can simply say, “I was congratulating him for his performance (or for having an exceptional day), and that has nothing to do with his sexual orientation, which is none of my business and something I don’t think about if only because at my age, straight guys think about one thing and one thing only. BTW, why are you so interested?”
    (You can get away with being a bit sassy when you
    are 20 years old.)

    It is supposedly true too – while they all stay really focused on trying to win or at least on doing the best they can, once their last event is over, hormones take over. The IOC knows this and quietly makes sure there is a very ample supply of condoms. Boys will be boys and girls will be girls. When you have an Olympic Village full of nearly everyone’s fantasy, nature can take its course and usually does.

  9. emjayay says

    Bill: Exactly. Half emptly stands. Big loss of money not to mention face for Russia. Plus pressure on advertisers. Jeff is wrong. After training your whole life and qualifying, no one can be expected to not go out of priciple. Carter pulling Americans out of the Olympics, while well intentioned, was wrong.

  10. emjayay says

    I don’t get this. I thought everyone had to wear exactly the uniform designed for their country. Nothing to stop them from pulling out a rainbow flag at the opening particularly if a lot of them do it, or after getting their medal, as has been suggested as one thing they can do, by me and Frank Bruni in the NYT and others.

  11. tom says

    What a totally ridiculous and absurd idea that doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of being adopted.

  12. HillBilly says

    Who will be paying for this outfit? Currently, the athletes’ uniforms are provided by their corporate sponsors, and if a team doesn’t wear what the sponsor provides, they can lose that sponsorship. Instead of looking for a designer, they need to be looking for a company. Maybe Nike could provide all the athletes with their rainbow shoes, and just add two little letters on the sides: “OK”.

  13. Steven says

    I’m all for this. We have very many talented designers who can create something, be it an accessory or clothing item to make a statement and yet look very polished.

  14. Duration & Convexity says

    Very cool.
    I think this could be pretty imaginative to explore and I’m sure some athletes would be interested in wearing it. It would only take one for the conversation to start.

  15. USC Trojans Fan says

    I have a huge gut feeling one of the major sponsors will indeed step up and provide athletes with SOMETHING that identifies LGBT support in Russia if they so choose to carry/wear it. I have a huge, huge gut feeling this is already being discussed by a major athletic company.

  16. Figi says

    All support, especially visible support is appreciated and I have a major encouraging sentiment that some of the athletes are very willing to show their support not only for GLBT but human rights.

  17. Vint says

    The logo really should incorporate the 5 interlocked rings that the IOC claims as their exclusive property. (You may remember that the Gay Games began as the Gay Olympics before the Olympic committee sued them into submission.) They can’t claim ownership if they’re being used as a political symbol; political speech trumps that sort of thing. So use the five rings, with suitable additions, and pray they sue us: it’ll make great, great press.

  18. HardeeHarr says

    The outfit should be flammable; so that those who choose to wear it can self-ignite.

    Send a real, meaningful message !

  19. says

    I’m fine with any design as long as it has NO PINK TRIANGLES. That was an AWFUL image. I’m glad it died in the 1990s, along with the activists who foisted it on us.

    The rainbow is happy, and it’s perfect. A simple rainbow armband would be awesome and easy to wear.

    But rather than a costume change, I’d prefer we strongly advocate for a venue change. Move the olympics from Sochi to Vancouver. The infrastructure is still in place from the 2010 Olympics.