It's the "the world’s first and only gay object."
Meet the Gay Sweater, an apparel item knitted from the hairs of more than 100 LGBT kids.
The sweater was created by the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity and was intended to raise awareness of LGBT issues and warn against using the word "gay" as a slur.
“We were walking around school and people were like, ‘That test is so gay and that homework’s so gay and someone said that sweater’s so gay,’” Jeremy Dias, the director of the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, told the Huffington Post. “We thought, what would it take to make a sweater that’s so gay to literalize the expression?”
Jeremy Dias came up with the idea.
Dias was discriminated against as a gay teen in northern Ontario and won a human rights lawsuit against his school board. He used the settlement to launch the anti-bullying organization Jer's Vision, recently renamed CCGSD ahead of its 10th anniversary, which holds educational events that reach a quarter-million students, teachers and parents annually.
"When we first started it, it was weird and creepy and we thought nobody's going to donate to this," admits Dias. "And then when we started asking queer and trans people to donate their hair, they were like, 'hell yeah, take it.' That sense of oppression is woven into yourselves, into everything you are.
"Every single day I educate, I empower, I train, but art is different, art is unique," he adds. "With art, it's not me sharing my experience or research, it's your experience. You could be excited by it, you could be repulsed by it, or motivated by it or mystified by it. [The goal] is to spark a dialogue about homophobia and transphobia."