Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MAGNET Boycotts GLAAD’s & American Apparel’s 'Transsexual Erasure' & Misgendering Campaign

Boycott GLAAD’s & American Apparel’s Non-Affirming and Misgendering Campaign

GLAAD and American Apparel are partnering on a ‘Pride Month’ campaign with Isis King (Tyra Bank's America's Next Top Model’s first contestant born with transsexualism) modeling T-shirts that read “Legalize Gay”; however, Isis is a heterosexual woman, not a “gay” man. Gender identity or a transsexual medical condition is not the same thing as sexual orientation. The word “gay” is not interchangeable with the word transsexual. The advertisements, perhaps unintentionally, send misleading and nonaffirming messaging about transsexual and transgender realities. All we ask for is accuracy, which includes reforming GLAAD’s media guide section on transsexual related representation.

TAKE ACTION in 3 steps:

1) BOYCOTT-- MAGNET and other transsexual, transgender, intersex, feminist and ally groups are boycotting GLAAD’s and American Apparel’s pride month t-shirts due to their problematic messaging. We call our campaign: 'Transsexual' Will Not Be Censored
2) REPRESENT-- We ask those who support our educational campaign against misrepresentation to go online to purhcase  environmentally safe t-shirts (or design and create your own) which read one of three slogans:
  • Legalize Transsexualism 
  • We Will Not Be Erased
  • 'Transsexual' Will Not Be Censored
3) JOIN CAMPAIGN-- You're Invited to Join Our Online Discussion / Get Updated Info:
'Transsexual' Will Not Be Censored Facebook Group page:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/242017769243699

Ashley Love, a MAGNET organizer, explains, “GLAAD fights the good fight for us many times, yet this time they’ve irresponsibly made a decision that appeared to not consider the confusing messaging that the ad could send to the public. They inadvertently went against their mission statement by validating the transphobic misconception that Isis and other women like her are “gay” males, instead of who they really are - women, period. The constant misgendering of women of transsexual experience by GLAAD and other ‘LGBT’ groups derails accurate education on transsexualism and must stop.”

Professor Joelle Ruby, PHD. of New Hampshire University, a transsexual advocate, was recently on two panels about feminism in the transsexual and transgender communities during the Philadelphia Trans* Health Conference and made a public statement on Facebook about this story:

“[GLAAD] hire TRANSSEXUAL model Isis King to model…t-shirts that say "Legalize Gay" and "Gay is OK". They erase King's transsexualism (AND TRANS RIGHTS in general) to forward their gay-centric agenda. And then they wonder why we critique Gay, Inc.???"

Chanel Jessica Lopez, transsexual and transgender communities based counselor at New York City’s Anti-Violence Project, personally objects to GLAAD’s and American Apparel’s campaign and stands with the boycott:

“As my past and present experience working with the community has taught me, those of us who are straight don't like to be considered anything other than a heterosexual woman. Just as damaging as physical violence could be mental violence, like erasing one’s accurate identity, such as misgendering, causing psychological abuse. I support equality for all; however, Isis should respectfully be recognized as a woman, not a commodity to be co-opted for a gay and lesbian only demographic.”

Messaging and images that promote (whether intentional or not) ideas of segregation and sex discrimination are serious matters which must be addressed. GLAAD's messaging in their advertisements feed invalidating and inaccurate misperceptions. We hope our campaign will foster affirming and forward messaging.

For media inquiries or information:
Contact Ashley Love, MAGNET Communications Organizer, Email: Magnet.Advocacy@gmail.com

Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Transsexual & Transgender People (MAGNET) is an anti-defamation organization dedicated to educating the media about transsexual, transgender and intersex issues.
MAGNET’s website: http://www.themagnetsource.blogspot.com/