January 24, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

COLUMN: Victoria’s Secret Trans Backlash Matters

In case you live under a rock – or have something better to do than follow the politics of underwear – the Chief Marketing Officer of L Brands Ed Razek and Executive Vice President of Public Relations at Victoria’s Secret Monica Mitro have axed inclusivity and dreams of transgender models in one swift interview.

In preparation for the December 2 Victoria’s Secret annual runsway show, Vogue spoke with Razek and Mitro about the future of the lingerie company.

“Shouldn’t you have transsexuals [sic.] in the show?” Razek asked hypothetically. “No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.”

There’s a slew of reasons why this hit home hard. First of all, “transsexuals”– really? It is 2018 and we are all out of excuses for the vernacularly-challenged straight cis male. Many pointed out on Twitter that this empire is owned by an 80-year-old man and ran by a 70-year-old man. It is comments like this that shows the lack of diversity and un-adapted marketing strategies. Sales have been declining for this 23-year-old company since 2016, and its inability to keep up with the radically evolving marketplace is reflected in its traditions.

Furthermore, not only does this sentiment imply that transgender models are lesser than, or less valued in an already cut-throat industry, but it says the they are not a fantasy. As if they will never be what anyone wants, let alone the multi-billion dollar industry.

Many on Twitter simply suggested boycotting the company. It’s easy; don’t buy from a company if you don’t support its ethics. Well, sure. Metaphorically burning our Victoria’s Secret bras and spending out pink dollars somewhere besides Pink will make a dent in the company’s revenue, but is it enough for actual change? No.

After the Vogue article was published, Razek issued an apology via Twitter:

“My remarks regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show came across as insensitive,” Razek said via Twitter. “I apologize. To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show. We’ve has transgender models come to castings … And like many others, they didn’t made it … But it was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”

This only adds feul to the flame. You can not say that a trans woman does not fit your narrow fantasy and then turn around to say their failure to make casting cuts had nothing to do with gender. You’re blaming the system instead of taking the responsibility. It is a cop-out.

It seems as though just when we are making social progress as a nation, something come out of left field, denouncing queer equality.

In a country where transgender individuals are being banned from serving in the military, are being threatened by the National Health Service to be defined out of existence and are murdered daily in the streets, bras don’t seem all that important. Find someone else to cup your boobs, right? Wrong. This type of passive behavior exemplifies the systemic prejudices  that snowball into hate speech, hate crimes. It is moments in history like these in which we have a civic duty to our queer brothers and sisters to stand up and let society know that this isn’t ok.

Related Posts

VIDEO: South Coast Chorale’s Tribute to Gay & Civil Rights Activist

January 24, 2020

January 24, 2020

67 years ago, openly gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin was arrested on a discriminatory, anti-gay “lewd conduct” charge for...

IN PHOTOS: WeHo Dodgeball at Sin City Classic LGBTQ+ Sports Festival

January 23, 2020

January 23, 2020

Hosted annually by The Greater Los Angeles Softball Association (GLASA), Sin City Classic brought together the United State’s finest athletes last weekend for three...

GUEST COLUMN: Queer Mindfulness Meditation

January 22, 2020

January 22, 2020

InsightLA is a non-profit meditation center offering practices of mindfulness and compassion that are both secular and Buddhist in origin. ...

Honoring Gay Rights & Civil Rights Activist Bayard Rustin

January 21, 2020

January 21, 2020

On this day in history 67 years ago, gay civil rights organizer Bayard Rustin was arrested on a discriminatory, anti-gay...

Recent West Hollywood Property Listings

January 19, 2020

January 19, 2020

Thinking of buying a house in West Hollywood? With a population under 40,000 and an area of just under 2...

WeHo Dodgeball at the Sin City Classic LGBTQ+ Sports Festival

January 17, 2020

January 17, 2020

Hosted annually by The Greater Los Angeles Softball Association (GLASA), Sin City Classic brings together the United State’s finest athletes for a...

LONG BEACH PRIDE Unveils New Logo, Drops “Lesbian & Gay” From Name

January 16, 2020

January 16, 2020

Formerly known as  the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride, the new and improved Long Beach Pride – the organization...

LA’s Only Known Trans Nightlife Event Just Got A Little More Fierce

January 13, 2020

January 13, 2020

Heavenly Bodies is Los Angeles’ only known monthly transgender nightlife event featuring live performances hosted by trans model and activist, Sasha Colby.  Proceeds...

LGBTQ+ Ally Taylor Swift to Receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award

January 7, 2020

January 7, 2020

GLAAD announced Tuesday, Jan. 7 that Taylor Swift with receive the Vanguard Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards. ...

Three CA Bills for the LGBTQ+ Community to Keep An Eye On

January 6, 2020

January 6, 2020

Three key pieces of California legislation that were tabled last year for various reasons will see the floor in 2020. ...

LGBT Icon, Talkshow Host Ellen DeGeneres Wins Award at 77th Annual Golden Globes

January 5, 2020

January 5, 2020

The 77th annual Golden Globes is looking a little bit more LGBTQ-inclusive, and talkshow host and LGBTQ+ icon Ellen DeGeneres’...

PLAY PREVIEW: A Queer Tribute to Frida Kahlo

January 3, 2020

January 3, 2020

Frida Kahlo was born July 6, 1907 and died July 13, 1954. Her death certificate alleges cause of death as “pulmonary...

2020 Golden Globes Nominations Gayer Than Ever

January 2, 2020

January 2, 2020

Awards season is just around the corner, and the LGBTQ+ representation is bigger and better than ever before. The 77th...

Slow But Steady Increase of LGBTQ+ Representation on TV This Year

December 30, 2019

December 30, 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, we begin to reflect. How far has queen representation progressed this year? We saw...

Q&A: Celebrating ‘Gelty Pleasures’ for Hanukkah with JQ International

December 28, 2019

December 28, 2019

In honor of Hanukkah, the Pride LA spoke with Anna Goodman from JQ International about its recent “Gelty Pleasures” holiday...