on the topic of disrespect for trans people in this country (and in general) and the fact that we are often treated as the butt of jokes, I thought I’d bring to attention an advert I found while surfing around the net. Its old, from the 90’s in fact, but its still a shining example of the ignorant and ‘freak show attraction’ sort of regard in which we are held…the ad was for the hotel chain Holiday Inn (someplace you wont catch me after seeing an advert like this, not that I’d probably stay there anyway, but i digress), in which they…well here, lemme copy over the description because typing it out is gonna make me see multiple shades of red…
“In the 1990s, the Holiday Inn hotel chain decided to get with the times and undergo a billion dollar renovation. When it was finished, they chose the 1997 Super Bowl as the venue in which to brag about it. They ran a commercial that depicted two classmates at a high school reunion. One tries to place the name of the beautiful woman standing before him and after a few guesses, he figures it out — the vision of beauty before him used to be named Bob.
The voice-over then goes on to reason that since the thousands of dollars that “Bob” had spent had been such a success, wouldn’t the same hold true for a billion-dollar hotel chain renovation? As it turned out, the answer was no. Not only did the campaign fail to renew interest in the chain, it was deemed offensive by LGBT groups, who boycotted the hotel. ”
frankly I’m appalled…and like i said, i know this is over a decade old but still, the audacity of such an ad speaks volumes of the blatant disregard for the feelings of those in the trans community, this sort of attitude leads to incidents like the recent fiasco w/cake boss and how they made Poor Carmen Carerra cry :(. Its good to know this ad got yanked and, of course, the national GLBT community largely boycotted the chain, but still, the fact that they even put together such an ad just, WHOA man, the galling ignorance is stomach turning, and this sort of idea (that its ok to call a trans person by their former name and/or pronoun just because ‘you just found out’ or whatever is all too common and extremely frustrating, not to mention very emotionally painful to the trans person in question…when i came out my dad told me ‘i’m ok w/it but you’ll always be my little girl’ and i had to tell him, no dad, NO i wont because i never was ‘your little girl’ i was a young man TRAPPED & IMPRISONED against my will because we have no say in how we are born into this world, only in how we will turn out…and we only have so much say in that). Yes, when you first find out that your old high school chum who used to be ‘bob’ (in the case of the ad) is now nancy or sue, you do get a FEW slip ups w/a free pass and only a minor warning, after that though you’re expected to adapt like a fucking intellectual adult WOULD and get it the fuck right, after that, we start getting increasingly hurt and/or pissed off (and w/good reason). And adverts like this perfectly illustrates the sort of attitude that is keeping me AWAY from my 10yr reunion next year, not even gonna go there.
Speaking of offensive adverts, while we’re at it, here’s a link to the list of the top 10 most offensive adverts of 2011…and OOOOOH MAN are they some doozies…i mean DAMN, we’re talking like Mitt Romney levels of blindingly ignorant for not noticing HOW offensive these ads were when they were conceived (seriously HOW DID THESE MAKE IT? either onto tv or into magazines, i will NEVER know because DAMN…just WOW!…the first one especially, recivilize yourself???? WHOA! just…i don’t have words for how racist, bigoted and incredibly insanely inappropriate that ad is, i just can’t see how it got past and published/run…it shall forever be a mystery)