Atlanta designer battles Trump by making America gay again

Richard Wade Morgan was reading one of many articles about presidential candidate Donald Trump when it occurred to him just how much words can be twisted.

“Commenters on Twitter were saying that making America great again means making America great for the people it was great for in the 1950s –- white men,” said Morgan.

Morgan, 26, of Midtown, decided to give Trump’s campaign slogan a little twist of his own. “I wanted to take Donald Trump’s hateful phrase and turn it into something positive,” he said. “It has always been in my mindset that I wanted to get people angry about an issue.”

Image provided by Richard Wade Morgan

Image provided by Richard Wade Morgan

The graphic designer and UGA grad put his training in protest design to good use coming up with the slogan, “Make America Gay Again.”

He searched for a company that made hats from prismatic vinyl –a rainbow reflecting silver material that he chose to symbolize the LGBT community — then worked with a local embroidery company (The Big Stitch ATL) to add the twisted slogan and poke fun at the caps that have been sported by Trump and his supporters throughout election season.

The $25 hats went on sale July 4 at makeamericagayagain.co. By Aug. 4 they had sold out. On August 12, Morgan donated $500 each to two charities that assist LGBT youth — Lost-N-Found and The Ali Forney Center. Having grown up queer in the deep South, Morgan said he felt it was a good way to give back.

Morgan, who has funded the project on his own, is gearing up for another run  mid-September. He plans to offer some items that will be 100 percent for charity. Others will have a portion of proceeds go towards funding the creation of the product and the website.

Image provided by Richard Wade Morgan.

Image provided by Richard Wade Morgan.

He  wasn’t the first to come up with the twist on Trump’s slogan.  In June, American Apparel used the same phrase on a collection of gear for Gay Pride.

The retailer partnered with the Human Rights Campaign and the Ally Coalition to create a line of “Make American Gay Again” t-shirts, hats and bags. They also offered up personal stories on the American Apparel website and donated 30 percent of sales from the limited-edition T-shirts and tanks to support the Equality Act and to fight discrimination in the LGBTQ community.

For Morgan, the whole experience has become a crash course in online retailing.

“I had never started a business from the ground up,” he said. “The biggest challenge was just worrying that people would perceive this as anything but a charity. That was my biggest fear. There are so many opportunities for scams.”

But so far, Morgan has only had positive responses. He hopes others will take the message that they shouldn’t be afraid to challenge the oppressor or the offender.

“People rally around [Trump] because they are afraid. They haven’t met a neighbor who is gay or of a different race or background,” Morgan said. He hopes “Make America Gay Again” will spur conversations among people who are different.

“The greatest piece of artwork and design work pulls out a human emotion,” Morgan said.  “It gets a response no matter if that is good or bad.”

Reader Comments 0

317 comments
Barbara Marler
Barbara Marler

Gay used didn't mean homosexual anyway if your a homosexual say your a homosexual!!!! Don't say your gay!

Barbara Marler
Barbara Marler

Your crazy! Why is it that gays wouldn't won't to see America GreatAgain! Of course Trump can't do that only GOD can but I'm still voting for Trump then praying God will heal our Nation !!

Dale Moore
Dale Moore

The guy is an idiot! And the AJC is full of idiots also!

Lisa Rood
Lisa Rood

Never heard of this guy. Who cares anyway we are trying to save a country, America. Trump 2016

Phil Briggs
Phil Briggs

Hopefully God will take care of both! The country and well you know how he feels about gay's!

Lloyd Lala
Lloyd Lala

Idiots its not hateful it just the way you look at it . We are great we could be greater though

Tommy Black
Tommy Black

I am lost here..how is Make America Great Again hateful?? ...this is stupid. What the hell is wrong with this back asswards country!?

Karen Dodge
Karen Dodge

If you want to take one of Trumps phrases and make it positive!! Then please! Go to church and get right with GOD!!

Kay Durham
Kay Durham

If you are gay Hillary had the killers father that kill all those gays in Florida at her Convention she didn't care that they died what's wrong here

Sandra Barnard-Chessher
Sandra Barnard-Chessher

If you want to be gay then be gay and stop advertising it every where you go. Just be part of a society and blend in. Keep your sexual issues personal and stop pushing your way of life onto others. Do you see straight people flaunting their preference?? Hell no!! Stop trying to get attention and be whoever in the hell you want to be.

Shaun Whitlock
Shaun Whitlock

"Do you see straight people flaunting their preference??" Actually, yes. They're called the KKK and Bible thumpers.

Adam Henry
Adam Henry

everyone who is feeling so emboldened by this designer's statement should go listen to trump's orlando speech

Dave Durden
Dave Durden

Cancelling Atlanta urinal and constipation.

Jane Kee
Jane Kee

Not a hateful phrase to most Americans.

Joseph Michael
Joseph Michael

Huh, I don't have a problem with homosexuals. However, if anything America is gay now. We have a bunch of limp wrested liberals in office. BTW, Hillary doesn't like gays, in fact she hates them. Before you bash on someone you should check the facts!

Amy Parks
Amy Parks

Trump & pence have already said that they want to overturn gay marriage. I don't see hillary saying that.

Sheryl Meyer
Sheryl Meyer

I would really like to know what he thinks he's gaining by doing this. Its stupid, America was never gay!

Shaun Whitlock
Shaun Whitlock

I won't stand for your intolerance and ignorance.

Sheryl Meyer
Sheryl Meyer

Shaun Whitlock, please take perpetually ignorant self some where else! Your blatant disrespect for everyone on this page is encoragable and quite annoying! I will not put up with nonsense from a snot nose punk, who still sits on mommys couch and wets the bed!

Shaun Whitlock
Shaun Whitlock

He's not trying to say that the United States was ever "gay", you dolt. He's simply making fun of Trump's obvious bigoted slogan.

Shaun Whitlock
Shaun Whitlock

By the way, the word you were looking for is incorrigible, but with your apparent lack

Sheryl Meyer
Sheryl Meyer

Yes you can say I have an intolerance for the likes of people like you, but once more I am not ignorant!

Sheryl Meyer
Sheryl Meyer

I would really like to know what he thinks he's gaining by doing this. Its stupid, America was never gay and if you want to twist it a little, Obama is the one who has a hand in pushing homosexuality in America by legalizing gay marriage and some of the newer gay bills passed; so he is the one that should have that hat reflected on him.

Daniel Thomas
Daniel Thomas

F**k both statements because their both corrupts agendas.

Brandon Dunbar
Brandon Dunbar

I'm confused, are we taking about trading America back to a time when it was gay? Like I'm not sure, what that the gay 30's or something like that ? Or are we trying to say that at one point America WAS gay... ?

Sheryl Meyer
Sheryl Meyer

Apparently all of America was gay at some point in time, not sure when. They must have erased that out of history somewhere.

Brandon Dunbar
Brandon Dunbar

Right, that what I asked, is it a throwback to that time, is was the 30s yeah? Like an actual use of the word gay in its intended form...

Julie Bennett
Julie Bennett

What is hateful about making America great again? America needs to feel safe again. America needs to feel economically safe again, and America needs to have jobs again! Trump 2016!

Tee Mac
Tee Mac

Bc "what hv we got to lose?"...

Garrick Boo White
Garrick Boo White

When have America ever been great to so called black people.. That in itself tells me what type of system we live in...

Robert C. Dillon
Robert C. Dillon

currently the Republicans have the majority in both Senate and House; until recently the Supreme Court; more Republican Governors and State Representatives too; so, the Republicans are running and ruining this country!

Shaun Whitlock
Shaun Whitlock

Your orange clown's campaign is collapsing under its own weight.

Joyce Mitar Morgan
Joyce Mitar Morgan

AJC and its demon-crat garbage..so what, you can be gay, but the sexual act is an aberration to God's law...

Shaun Whitlock
Shaun Whitlock

Your god is an imaginary tyrant. Your god's "laws" don't add up to dried :poop:.

Dorothy Micanek Langston
Dorothy Micanek Langston

Shaun Whitlock - I would "like" more of your comments, but I don't want to be stalker-ish!