April 17, 2021 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

SaMo Pride Announces Art Walk

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

In honor of Pride Month SaMo Pride has announced it’s art walk throughout June which will feature family friendly programming. ...

National AIDS Memorial Mary Bowman Arts in Activism Award Given to Westside Local

April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021

Poet, Activist, Artist, and Westside local Ima Diawara uses her art and activism to raise greater awareness about bigotry, stigma...

Lil Nas X “Satan Shoes” Controversy

April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

Since releasing his controversially queer-positive music video “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” gay singer/rapper Lil Nas X has had...

West Hollywood Celebrates National Poetry Month

April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

The City of West Hollywood will celebrate National Poetry Month in April with a variety of events and exhibitions honoring...

L.A. Stage Alliance To Cease Operations After Several Companies Exit

April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

The Los Angeles Stage Alliance (LASA) announced that it would “cease all operations” following the departure of more than 25...

Tina Turner Documentary Breaks Records

April 4, 2021

April 4, 2021

Singer, song writer and gay icon Tina Turner released a documentary on HBO Max as a farewell to her fans...

Trans Los Angeles A Film Full Of Queer Latinx Talent

April 4, 2021

April 4, 2021

Trans Los Angeles is an anthology composed of four short films directed and written by transgender director Kase Peña. Each...

Trans Visibility Day Proclamation From President Biden

April 1, 2021

April 1, 2021

Yesterday marked the 12th anniversary of Trans Visibility Day and the first time a sitting president has ever made a...

Pride Poets’ Corner: Double Dutch Nymph By Féi Hernandez

March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

The Pride LA and West Hollywood Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace would like to introduce Féi Hernandez featuring their latest work...

Bisexual Men Have Higher Chance Of Developing Eating Disorders

March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month and according to a study done by the University of California San Francisco bisexual...

First Gay Teen Captain America Revealed By Marvel

March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

Marvel Comics has revealed the first look at a new Captain America who happens to be a gay teen.  The...

Candlelit Vigil Held For Rayanna Pardo

March 25, 2021

March 25, 2021

A candlelit vigil was held on March 20th for Rayanna Pardo, a trans woman of color who died three days...

Pride Poets’ Corner: Penetrate By Terry Wolverton

March 21, 2021

March 21, 2021

In honor of Women’s History Month The Pride Poets’ Corner, curated by West Hollywood Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace, wished to...

32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards

March 21, 2021

March 21, 2021

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced a new slate of...

Remembering EZTV Founder Kate Johnson Who Saved LGBTQ+ Media Work

March 21, 2021

March 21, 2021

Kate Johnson was an artist and founder of EZTV. Johnson saved and stewarded an important archive of new media work...