Recently, we have been seeing more and more news items about declining tolerance regarding the gay community. For Brigitte Midavaine, editor-in-chief of The Gay Issue (TGI) this was a reason to combine the useful and the pleasant. “I was walking around with the idea for a while to pay more attention to these problems and at the same time contribute to put an end to this intolerance. Suddenly, I knew what to do. Face masks are a hot item during these Covid-19 times and in some cases they are even mandatory. I wanted to design special face masks aimed at the gay community and include a reference to tolerance. I also knew I wanted to connect it to a charity. Something with a large and international support base, such as Amnesty International.” Easier said than done if designing is not your trade. “We interviewed designer Rodrigo Otazu for The Gay Times in the past, and I was impressed by his openness and spontaneity. Also, he is very active in the gay community. When I called him, he was immediately enthusiastic and went for it”, says Brigitte.
Rodrigo – who now operates under the name Mr. O and currently lives in New York – designed two sets of four face masks with the theme LOVE IS LOVE. One with a clear Mr. O signature named Fabulous and one with a wink to the gay community and tolerance with the name Proud. “When Brigitte called me I knew almost immediately that I wanted to cooperate. As a designer, it is a nice way to be able to contribute, especially when it’s about increasing tolerance for the LGBTQ community,” the Argentinian-born designer states. “LOVE IS LOVE was the first thing I thought about when I started designing this collection. Some designs represent the party spirit and power that we have as gay men. Altogether, we can make a difference with a significant role for respect and values, regardless of color, religion, or gender. We are all the same. Let love shine!”
In order to create wide support and make a contribution to society, the majority of the profit will go to a good cause. Amnesty International is dedicated to protecting human rights all over the world. Amnesty International is dedicated to protecting human rights all over the world. Amnesty supports local organizations and activists that stand up for gay rights in their country.
Qualitative and durable face masks
The face masks are manufactured from a special fabric called Evolon® and produced by Textiles and More, which is situated in the Netherlands. he face masks are washable at a minimum temperature of 60˚C. Even after many washes, the print retains its quality and appearance. The filtration efficiency of the face masks has been tested at TNO. Based on these tests, the face masks meet the filtration efficiency of the material in accordance with the material of type IIR Surgical reference masks. The face masks have a filtration efficiency of at least 95% against particles that are spread through the air. The anti-allergic composition is a natural barrier against smog, bacteria, pollen and other allergens The dense texture of microfiber has great air permeability and drains fluids under the mask. The material is non-woven, very comfortable, breathable, and soft.
The face masks are one-size-fits-all and can be ordered as of now on thegayissue.be. The price is €12.95 per mask and € 45 for a set of four masks (excluding shipping costs).