University of Pittsburgh
April 14, 2005

Pitt Students Organize T-shirt Campaign in Support of Gay Acceptance

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Pundits like to talk about a divided America when it comes to gay issues, but this spring, students at the University of Pittsburgh are sending one message: Gay is fine by them. Student organizers will distribute 1,000 T-shirts that read "gay? fine by me" to their classmates April 19.

Pitt sophomore Sara Fatell, elected early in January as Pitt's Student Government Board (SGB) Diversity Chair, worked to get the University involved in the national T-shirt campaign. Also an officer in Pitt's Rainbow Alliance, Fatell learned about the campaign in November at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force conference Creating Change. Holding offices in both organizations helped Fatell to bring the T-shirt campaign to campus, through the effort of SGB.

"My first official duties for SGB were to plan the annual Diversity Week, which ran April 4-8, followed by the Rainbow Alliance's Pride Week," said Fatell.

Fatell plans to gather as many of the "gay? fine by me" T-shirt-wearers as possible at the Cathedral of Learning fountain at 1:50 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, for a 2 p.m. photo opportunity.

The Gay? Fine By Me™ T-shirt Project began at Duke University in spring 2003. A few years earlier, the Princeton Review had named Duke the most gay-unfriendly school in America. Duke students wondered if most people at their school were really homophobic, or if that was just the perception. To find out, they printed T-shirts that read "gay? fine by me," to see how many of their peers would wear them. After 10 days, the students had distributed 2,500 shirts.

Since then, the T-shirt Project has spread to more than 100 other schools, churches, and communities, and organizers have distributed almost 20,000 shirts in 43 states. Fine By Me Inc. is now in the final stages of becoming a nonprofit organization, dedicated to helping Americans publicly come out against homophobia.

For more information on Pitt's Fine By Me T-shirt Project, contact Fatell at

412-648-7970 or SPF3@pitt.edu. For information on the national movement, contact Lucas Schaefer lucas@finebyme.org or visit www.finebyme.org.

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