This SF Fashion Brand Just Made a Bag Off a Homophobic Email

And the best part? And Our is donating a portion of each tote bag purchase to the San Francisco Transgender District.

2023 has already been a roller coaster of a year for queer people. We’ve seen history-making bans on public drag (a law that was later deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge), frail conservatives losing their damn minds over non-binary people supporting their favorite beer, major retail businesses in the United States pulling Pride-themed products off their shelves… and, on top of all that (and so much more), a massive increase in actualized homophobia across the United States.


The current landscape for queer people to navigate in the United States is so dangerous that the Human Rights Campaign declared a “state of emergency” for the LGBTQIA+ community on June 6th — a first in the nonprofit’s 40-plus years of operating.

Alas, the inclusive, encompassing utopia where “Born This Way” would double as a ubiquitous anthem has yet to be realized. And outright hate speech continues to bombard queer-owned businesses.

But the San Francisco-based gender-neutral fashion brand And Our recently decided to turn an appalling email into a creative opportunity, building a piece of merchandise around it… and, quite literally, getting the bag.

“I have zero respect for LGBT people,” reads an email sent to the brand from one Bernice Martinez. “Garbage of society.”

What Martinez didn’t likely account for when she sent her hollow email — because she, apparently, had nothing better to do at 5:27 a.m. in the morning; should’ve stayed in REM a bit longer, babe — was for it to be an inspiration for a proudly queer tote bag.

“Hateful rhetoric but make it girly pop,” And Our captions in an Instagram post, showing the original email and how it was then designed into a rainbow dreamscape (filled with plush novelty) that was then splayed onto an organic cotton tote bag. “This cutie lil’ tote with fan letters is now available on the site hehehe.”

Bernice is also having her fifteen minutes of hyperlocal notoriety cemented into perpetuity; the tote bag, aptly named “The Garbage Tote,” has her full first name and initialized last name placed below her brief email.

And Our notes that profits from the bag will go toward supporting the San Francisco Transgender District — the first legally recognized district of its kind anywhere in the world.

Take that, Bernice. Never underestimate queer folk’s ability to spin hate into checks… and all for a good cause, no less.

To purchase The Garbage Tote, click here.

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