Introducing the gay sweater

Introducing the gay sweater

LAST UPDATED // Wednesday, 25 March 2015 10:15 Written by // Cec Busby

We all know it’s not OK to say something is ‘so gay’ – but this sweater really is soooo gay. So gay in fact it’s made from human hair collected from gay people.

The sweater (or cardigan as we would say) has been made by the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity as part of an effort to raise awareness of the use of gay as a pejorative.

Made entirely of wool spun from hair collected from LGBTI members of the community, the centre is saying it’s the only thing it’s ok to call gay.

The Big Gay Sweater makes its debut at fashion week in Toronto and the creators are hoping to get the hashtag #TheGaySweater trending to raise awareness for their cause.

“I would have loved to grow up in a world where ‘that’s so gay’ wasn’t a thing,” Jeremy Dias, director of the centre says in a video that reveals the sweater in all its glory.

“We want the conversation that surrounds the gay sweater to inspire those who are using ‘gay’ in a detrimental way to both realize the negative impact their actions are having and change their behaviour,” he said.


Image: A participant sews a garment label into the sweater.

Dias is encouraging people to join the conversation by using the hashtag #TheGaySweater

As for the practicalities of creating a garment made from human hair, it was revealed human hair is apparently horrible to knit with - it’s challenging to turn into yarn and difficult to use.

“It’s actually awful to knit with; it’s all over our laps; it’s all over the floor,” one participant said.

Once Toronto Fashion Week wraps up, the sweater will find a new home in the Centre's educational outreach program.

Watch a video on the making of the gay sweater


Cec Busby

Cec Busby

Cec Busby is the news editor of SX and online editor of

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