Isis King Speaks Out On Being American Apparel’s First Openly Transgender Model

American Apparel’s not necessarily known for being the most progressive of companies. So that’s why, considering their long history of blatantly objectifying women, and the many cases of sexual harassment against owner Dov Charney, it’s refreshing to see the L.A.-based company take a step in the right direction. Last week, they released images from their new “Gay O.K.” campaign, promoting gay rights — which features America’s Next Top Model breakout transgender star Isis King. King, who’s had gender reassignment surgery since first appearing on the show in 2009, became involved in the campaign through her work with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

“[She and GLAAD] have worked together on quite a few things now — including the ‘I AM: Trans People Speak‘ video campaign, which aims to lift the voices of a diverse range or trans people– and they thought of me for this amazing opportunity. They told me what it was for and I knew this campaign would be a tremendous step forward for everyone, including fashion, American Apparel, and trans women with a dream!” Isis said in an interview this week.

breakout transgender star Isis King. King, who’s had gender reassignment surgery since first appearing on the show in 2009, became involved in the campaign through her work with GLAAD.

“[She and GLAAD] have worked together on quite a few things now — including the ‘I AM: Trans People Speak‘ video campaign, which aims to lift the voices of a diverse range or trans people– and they thought of me for this amazing opportunity. They told me what it was for and I knew this campaign would be a tremendous step forward for everyone, including fashion, American Apparel, and trans women with a dream!” Isis said in an interview this week.

And for their part, American Apparel, stands 100 percent behind the campaign, which was developed as an extension of their “Legalize Gay” branding efforts, which protested the 2008 passing of Proposition 8 in California. “It’s time for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, to accept each other and thrive in harmony,” said Marsha Brady, an American Apparel creative director.

“American Apparel is showing bold leadership by being among just a few companies to include transgender people in its national ads,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in a statement. “The company’s statement that ‘Gay is OK’ will reach millions and send an important message in support of equality.”



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