Dear Levi’s: Please Don’t Make Money off of Dead LGBTQIA Folks. Thanks. Love, The World.

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While it’s always suspect when a corporate fashion brand uses a social issue to sell stuff, sometimes it can genuinely be a nice acknowledgement of a cause, or a way for an organization or group to fundraise toward a worthwhile goal. Sometimes marketing and monetization can actually do and be good.

This isn’t one of those times.

As you can see above, Levi’s announced a new line of jeans yesterday that are apparently “inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt.” What they don’t seem to recognize is that each square of the AIDS Memorial Quilt represents an actual person who has died from AIDS.

The LGBTQIA community on Twitter is not having it. Here are some choice responses:

Now, Levi’s has been sending several people who’ve tweeted at them the following response:

OK, so apparently all the proceeds from the sale of these jeans are going to the Harvey Milk Foundation and other LGBTQIA partner organizations. That’s a little better. Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that Levi’s seems to be a little out of touch with the community they’re trying to serve. For example, queer folks are needing to explain the “hanky code” to them:

And then there are those who kindly remind Levi’s of the Ghost of Tacky Corporate Social Justice Faux Pas Past:

Perhaps this tweet sums it up the best:

What do you think? Is the fact that Levi’s is apparently donating 100% of the proceeds to LGBTQIA organizations enough, or would you just as soon see them not do this at all. Also, really? Did no one think to have the hanky conversation with them? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

(image: Twitter/Levi’s)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.