Already binge-watched the whole of ‘It’s a Sin’? If so, you’ll have likely had a giggle or two – and you’ll have definitely cried a whole bunch of tears. But perhaps Russell T Davies’ powerful drama, which centres around the Aids crisis as it hit London in the ‘80s, provoked even more of a reaction in you. The series resonated in particular with Mayor of Lambeth Philip Normal. The Londoner – who is also a designer and LGBTQ+ activist – was especially inspired by the Pink Palace’s ‘La!’ catchphrase. So much so, that he’s put it on a T-shirt.
‘This simple use of language underpins the vulnerability of all the characters and solidifies their friendship. It’s incredibly powerful,’ said Normal, who is the first openly HIV+ person in the UK to hold the office of Mayor. ‘Everyone has their cliques and friends, we all look after each other. La encapsulates that love and mutual support,’ he added.
Normal is selling his ‘La’ T-shirts via the website for his eponymous Brixton Village boutique. Each shirt costs £25, and for each one sold, £20 is going to partner The Terrence Higgins Trust. The charity supports people living with HIV, campaigns for change and works towards improving understanding around sexual health. And after just three days’ worth of sales, the garms have helped raised £40,000 for the Trust. A little bit of backing from the show’s creators and from some of the cast, including Keeley Hawes, hasn’t done any harm to the cause.
‘We stand on the shoulders of giants – this is the reminder we needed,’ said Normal of the show that inspired him. ‘Ending new cases is something we can achieve – we now have the tools: home testing PrEP and the knowledge to kill stigma.’
Order a ‘La’ shirt right here.
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