It’s Raining Gorman: How Raincoats and Queerness Interact

Photographer: Ria Ronghe

One hundred years ago, queer women were inspired by Sappho’s poetry to give each other violets, creating a secret method to express their love for one another. In 2018, we have a host of other symbols up our sleeves. Among these is the Gorman raincoat: a beautiful (albeit overpriced) polyester garment. What it lacks in actual water-resistance it more than makes up for in its queer symbolism, at least according to the members of the Canberra-based Facebook group “like if ur a cool queer who owns a Gorman raincoat”.

In celebration of this group, its memes and water protection, we asked several cool queers to review their Gorman raincoats (and one lone Driza-Bone). That’s right, readers: we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re sort of protected from the rain.



“My raincoat, much like my bisexuality, tends to fly under the radar. Despite its innocuous, France-inspired print, I like to think it represents and celebrates difference, iconoclasm and the non-sequitur clashing against uniformity and heteronormativity. In a world of blue and white stripes, be a croissant. (Also, Breton stripes are queer culture, change my mind).”



“Yeah, I reckon this jacket is pretty gay.”



“As a bisexual ENFP with a libra sun, my entire personality revolves around being as obnoxious as possible. When confronted with a situation in which I cannot verbally affirm my queerness every five minutes, I use my raincoat to let the world know what’s up. My Gorman raincoat also allows me to effortlessly walk the tightrope between my love of slightly tacky gay stuff and my desire to at least pretend to be fashionable.”



“The Driza-Bone for me signifies my evolution into my final and true form: the Subaru Lesbian. What it lacks in an immediately identifiable queer* colour palette and signature pattern, it makes up for in its Power Shoulders, insulated interior and thorough waterproofing — perfect for all those camping trips.”



“Honestly, I hadn’t really associated Gorman raincoats or even the brand Gorman with being queer* prior to joining the meme group. I always just admired people wearing Gorman products. One of my dear friends created the group and I found it all so hilarious. After that, I started observing people around me more closely and realised that Gorman raincoats (and not having a driver’s license) were such a queer* thing. When I finally started being able to afford Gorman products, I knew I needed a raincoat. And as sad as it sounds, I felt so validated once I bought a Gorman raincoat of my own.”