5 Seconds of Summer has announced the release of new merch with 100% of profits benefitting the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. The band developed their line in collaboration with tattoo artist Sanyu Tattoo, and will release it through their independent record label, Friends of Friends.
The Institute's mission is to ensure the protection of Black trans people by "organizing, advocating, creating an intentional community to heal, developing transformative leadership, and promoting our collective power."
This year alone has already seen the deaths of at least 22 transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals, nine of whom were Black trans people, including Nina Pop, Tony McDade, Brayla Stone and Riah Milton.
"We stand with the Black transgender community in their fight for equality, recognition, and justice," the band wrote on Instagram. "We started FRIENDS OF FRIENDS over a year ago as a vehicle to create community on a local and global level, raising awareness and money for a variety of causes while celebrating the people & projects who inspire us."
The merch can be purchased on the Friends of Friends website, and there are four items in the collection: two $35 t-shirts in black and gold, a $55 black long sleeve and an $80 gold sweatshirt.
This is not 5SOS' first charitable merch line. In 2019, with the release of their hit single "Easier," the band debuted a collection on Friends of Friends with profits directly benefiting Los Angeles' Safe Place for Youth, which is dedicated to "inspire, nurture and empower the resilient human spirit of homeless youth by providing immediate and lasting solutions."
5SOS is now among many musicians to get vocal about their support for the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and the protection of Black trans lives. In a video posted July 1st on the Institute's Instagram, Normani made a statement discussing the need for liberation and how the world has so far failed Black trans women.
"As the world comes together in solidarity with the movement for Black lives, we must realize that Black trans people, particularly Black trans women, are oppressed, marginalized and facing a spectrum of violence at an epidemic rate," Normani said in the video.
The system has failed Black trans people, but you can get involved and join the fight to protect Black trans lives. Learn more about the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, here, and educate yourself on how you can take action and demand justice right now for Black trans people, here.
Visit wearefof.com to order 5 Seconds of Summer's merch, and stream their 2020 album, CALM, below.
Photo courtesy of Universal
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