In 1999 I wanted to help humanize gay rights through “T-shirt Tirade” while challenging the form in which people demonstrate. I wanted to illustrate the human side of the issue by showing normal people doing normal daily activities.
I placed ads in magazines and in 2005 I went around the country giving out T-shirts sporting the project slogan “I am a Human Being, Not a Sexuality, EQUAL RIGHTS.” I also stood in public space or went about routine activities supporting positive change.
People get labeled or grouped because of their differences, which excludes them from others. This can take away their human identity since they are no longer considered as equal. Then somehow, somewhere, someone decides that “those” people are in some way less human.”
“T-shirt Tirade” is not what is seems. It is not merely a T-shirt, but a living art installation/ demonstration that promotes equal rights for the LGBTQ community; rights equal to those enjoyed by most citizens of this country, not “special rights.”
Brancaccio, who created the concept, is asking you to wear this T-shirt, hoping that worn by you, or someone you know, this will help break down barriers to equal rights for LGBTQ citizens and normalize the still stigmatized and highly charged issue.
The LGBTQ community is a part of everybody’s world: a part of our family or friendship circle, the workplace, entertainment, news media, sports arena, government, school, church, etc. This living installation acknowledges lesbians, bisexuals, gays and people of transgender in our everyday environment and reveals their ordinariness. Wearing “T-shirt Tirade” will mean that you are taking a stand and advocate equal rights for the LGBTQ community and the normal, unadulterated dignity of all our country’s citizens. Wear this T-shirt, not to proclaim sexuality but to help tear down the barriers that deny human beings an equal and ordinary place at society’s table.