Rainbows and penguins at the gym

Yesterday was actual Stonewall Day, honoring the riots at the Stonewall Inn on that date in 1969 and serving as a flashpoint for Gay Pride events and political organizations — and, increasingly over the years, providing a hook for all manner of LGBT-oriented commerce (products for sale, advertising for those products) and feel-good publicity for companies and organizations of all sorts. On darker days, I get the feeling that queerfolk are just being used: rainbow everything, whether or not it has some plausible connection to gender or sexuality. I am myself far from immune to the allure of random rainbow objects.

Some items of apparel, however, are naturals for the rainbow treatment — for gay men, items worn in male athletic activities or associated with male sexual bodyparts (or in the case of jockstraps, both).

As it happens, athletic / running / fitness / exercise / gym shorts are a long-standing item in my clothes drawers: worn for doing exercises at the Y (when I could still manage that), as everyday indoor wear at home, and during the summer as comfortable outdoor wear as well. I’ve been accustomed to using gray cotton shorts (comfortable and cheap, also unremarkable), like these from ROMWE.com:


But there are more interesting options.

Penguin Pete. From my 6/11 posting “Original Penguin Pride”, on this ad:

(#2) ORIGINAL PENGUIN: A FULL LIFESTYLE CLOTHING BRAND (from Munsingwear, featuring the Munsingwear penguin mascot, Pete): a rainbow-stripe tank top and what I saw as gym shorts with little rainbow penguins sashaying across it

The company also offers a t-shirt with those sashaying rainbow penguins:


Then, on 6/22, Aric Olnes posted on Facebook about the bottom garment in #2:

(#3) Rainbow Pete Logo-Print 3″ Swim Trunks

My response on 6/27 on Facebook:

Delightful pattern. But — modified rapture — the Original Penguin line offers a rainbow penguin swimsuit (where the underwear and the outerwear come as a package), but not rainbow penguin shorts (outerwear alone, to be worn with underwear that can be regularly changed; there are good reasons for underpants as a separate garment). My custom in the summer is to wear athletic shorts as everyday wear — so far, just standard gray cotton gymwear (I know, how butch), just because it’s comfortable, very easy to get, and not especially expensive, but I’d be happy to branch out some. But not only doesn’t Munsingwear offer rainbow penguin shorts, athletic or otherwise, nobody else does either; you can get rainbow shorts in many patterns, and some (non-rainbow) penguin shorts, but not (as far as I can see) rainbow penguin shorts. (I assume Munsingwear holds the legal rights to the pattern.) Grrr.

Since I’m into penguins as well as gaywear, I feel the (apparent) unavailability of rainbow penguin athletic shorts keenly.

Ultras Sportswear. But penguinless rainbow athletic shorts are certainly available. Notably this item from Ultras Sportswear:

(#4) Athletic / running / fitness / exercise / gym shorts in bold horizontal rainbow stripes, of “athletic microfiber”, with side pockets, with a 7-inch (also available in 2.5-inch) inseam

This is not some special item designed specifically for the Pride market; the Ultras company makes garments in patterns for most occasions, most countries, and every U.S. state, plus plain patterns in a wide variety of colors. #4 has the Pride pattern; here’s the screaming Swiss pattern:


Note on microfiber: a mostly polyester, part polyamide fabric that is very soft and highly absorbent; it’s used especially for sweat-absorbent gym towels

Soon I will have some more colorful gym shorts, to vary my traditional plain gray.


One Response to “Rainbows and penguins at the gym”

  1. Lounge shorts | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] / running / fitness / exercise / gym shorts — see my 6/29 posting “Rainbows and penguins at the gym” — lounge shorts (and lounge pants) are […]

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