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The Short But Fascinating History of “Be Gay, Do Crimes”

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Ok, yes: “Be Gay, Do Crimes,” the revitalizing cry of an age. In any case, how did this trademark (and opinion) become? The set of experiences is stranger (and more limited!) than you could anticipate.

In September of 2016, Instagram client @absentobject posted a photograph of some spray painting they’d found in France. No sooner had they transferred it to Tumblr than it was “all around the Internet” because of the @queergraffiti account.

Seeing the reason why: in 2016, Instagram was still on the ascendant, and Tumblr was all the while getting a charge out of something of a brilliant age for eccentric creators is not hard. The photograph took off, and the trademark — straightforward, minimal, exquisite — turned into an energizing weep for queers who were finished being commodified by rainbow free enterprise.

The photograph surfaced a couple of months after the disastrous Pulse Nightclub shooting, a second during which eccentric people started to request more from brands than good for nothing rainbows and “contemplations and supplications” posts.

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After two years, the photograph restored, this time on Twitter.

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