An ad from Paddy Power has been causing quite a stir this week in Ireland. The video shows a setup where transgender women attend Ladies Day at a racetrack. Here it is [unless it has since been taken down]:
There are so many things wrong with this ad. First of all, it makes a mockery out of the daily lives of transgender people. A game of Spot the Tranny, anyone? How fun! It plays on this wonderfully naive heterosexual male fear that evil pervert trannies are lurking everywhere, trying to trick them into being attracted to biological men. Fooled into gaydom! It's the worst fate ever. This also translates to a complementary fear in straight women that "convincing" transgender girls can and will steal their men. And the absolute worst of all: the ad is not even funny. Paddy Power actually paid its ad agency real money for this cheap attempt at employing transphobia for a laugh. Seeing the negative reactions from blogs and local Irish news has made me pretty proud. Here's hoping that ad agencies feel the heat and quit this shit. You can help in this by submitting a formal complaint against this ad here. As the colleague who sent this ad to me said, one of the best excuses sexist/homophobic advertisers in Ireland spin out in their defense is that nobody complained.