Target: Meredith Abraham, AnytimeCostumes Owner; Erik Mandell, Wholesale Halloween Costumes Owner
Goal: Take down the transphobic “unisex” costumes portraying transgender women as jokes.
Costumes mocking transgender women are popping up on costume websites in preparation for Halloween after the public transition of Caitlyn Jenner. Multiple websites have these costumes labelled as “unisex” but have a photo of a man next to the item description. One site tells the shopper that they “probably won’t break any Twitter records when you wear this outfit like Caitlyn did when she first made her account, but you’ll be sure to get a few laughs out of your friends and the other guests at the get together.”
This is part of a larger societal pattern of portraying trans women as walking jokes. For many years, the only time you saw trans women portrayed on television or in film was to get a laugh. This dehumanization leads to violence as transphobic people think they can get away with attacking, beating, and murdering trans women.
Caitlyn Jenner is not a joke. Trans women are not jokes. The fact that 19 trans women have been murdered (that we know of) this year alone, with most of them being investigated as hate crimes, is not a joke. Trans women suffer a disproportionate amount of violence and mental illness and are actively discriminated against across the world. The false idea that trans women are just men in costume contributes to all of that, and it’s not funny.
Sign our petition to demand that these companies immediately remove the Caitlyn Jenner costumes and any other transphobic products from their websites immediately before they do more harm.
Dear Ms. Abraham and Mr. Mandell,
You currently have an incredibly offensive and damaging costume for sale on your respective company websites. This costume is based on Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover after she came out as transgender to the public. Your photos of the costume show what appears to be a cisgender man in the costume, and your descriptions imply that the costume is meant to be humorous.
For many years, transgender women have been portrayed as nothing but jokes in the media, and it is no coincidence that at the same time, they have suffered poor mental health and terrible transphobic violence. Dehumanizing trans women by turning them into jokes and costumes allow people to feel justified in discriminating against them, attacking them, and even murdering them. Nineteen trans women have already been murdered this year.
The costume you’re selling will only contribute to violence against trans women, and there’s nothing funny about that. Please immediately remove this item from your stores, as well as any other transphobic products, before they do more harm to those who have already suffered so much.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mike Mozart