Bar owner apologises for selling ‘come out as Gaelic’ t-shirts
The owner of an Irish bar has apologised after selling novelty t-shirts which included a joke about coming out as Gaelic.
The t-shirts were sold by the owner of Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub ahead of St Patrick’s Day.
On the front it reads: “Mom, Dad…I’m Gaelic,” including an image of a rainbow and a pot of gold.
The back of the $17.99 shirt reads: “Everyone comes out for St. Paddy’s Day 2017.”
The t-shirts were called “exploitative” by some on Facebook who accused the Syracuse, New York bar of cashing in on gay rights with a cheap pun.
One LGBT+ activist from New York, Ty Marshal, said he wasn’t personally offended by the message on the t-shirt.
But Marshal said he didn’t think it was right for a pub to profit from the t-shirt sales, rather than donating proceeds to an LGBT+ rights organisation.
Others pointed out that the shirt could easily have included same-sex parents, and questioned why it only includes opposite-sex parents.
Dennis Coleman, the manager of the pub, told Syracuse.com that he never meant to cause offence with the shirt.
“It has been brought to our attention that the t-shirt Coleman’s produced for St. Patrick’s Day has offended some members of the LGBT community. It was not our intention to offend anyone. 20 years ago, we would never have considered producing a shirt like this because it was something you didn’t talk about.
“Things are more open now. It was a tongue-in-cheek commentary on society. But we understand now how some gay people might take offense and for that we apologize. That’s the problem with humor.–what some people can laugh about; other people find offensive.”
Some have expressed concern that the messaging on the t-shirts panders to a homophobic attitude.
They will remain on sale online and at the Coleman’s pub.