Reasons transgender folks are angry at Gay Male Drag Queen “Skye High” for doing this ad
December 12, 2012
Drag is offensive to trans people because no one can tell the difference between a man in female drag and a man with a personal internal sense of feeling like what he imagines a reproductively female person feels like.
He should have dressed more flamboyantly, with a giant headdress perhaps, to signify that he is a male who “performs” female for entertainment purposes, as distinguished from a man who “performs” female because he is trying to disguise himself to pass as female for personal lifestyle or sexual fetish reasons.
Drag queens should only model in advertisements that appear in Gay publications, so that the public will know they are gay.
Cocks in Frocks should never ever be portrayed with humor.
Men wearing dresses should not be permitted to use the men’s bathroom and should instead use the women’s.
Some male transgenders prefer to sit to urinate. The ad may lead the public to believe all males who perform female-assigned gender choose to use urinals to void.
The ad implies that the viewer needs to “stay strong” to deal with sharing the men’s restroom with a female impersonator, which implies that female impersonators are not a desirable person to share a restroom with.
Any ad featuring female impersonation should explicitly convey a pro-transgender message.
Photos of Drag Queens should only be used for personal promotion of their entertainment services and never used in advertising campaigns.
Transgender males are victims of hate crimes more frequently than Gay men or Drag Queens.
Drag Queens are “triggering” to lifestyle transgender males, especially the heterosexual ones.
The public may think trans males are gay, when in fact the majority are heterosexual men who want to be “lesbians”.
The fact that he is smiling gives the viewer permission to not take transphobia seriously.
His failure to “pass” as convincingly female makes him a distasteful example of gender failure.
Drag is funny, Trans is tragic.
Skye High responds:
Skye High Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on the ads I recently featured in. Firstly let me start by saying I was not portraying a transgendered person in the Bearded Lady Bourbon advertisement. I am in fact a gay man that dresses in drag as an artist, to which I’ve been doing for over 20 years. This has been made very clear on all levels of social media.
At no point have I ever considered myself or portrayed myself as a transgendered individual, nor would I ever do so, nor do I hold any “phobia” to any individuals. I would also like to highlight that throughout the entire shoot for this campaign I was treated by the entire crew with the utmost respect and dignity just as any professional artist would be. Regardless of my own sexual identity, there was never any pretence that I was a transgendered person, nor trying to be one.
When I was presented with the Bearded Lady Bourbon campaign I saw it as a great opportunity to participate in a campaign that I believe is twofold. To me these ads show the acceptance of a drag queen in mainstream society and more importantly, I’m showing society that I’m not going to be intimidated by those people who may consider me being less of a person than them.
All three of the Bearded Lady Bourbon print ads, which aren’t connected in any way with each other, but all carry the same “STAY STRONG” message, implying that there are times in life that you need to do just that, regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in and sometimes a quick shot of liqour can help. That’s the connection between the brand and the picture.
Although my belief is “STAY STONG” in every situation and don’t allow yourself to succumb to those who want to put you down or cast negativity on what you believe or more importantly, who you are. I see this ad as the representation that although we’re different to each other, it’s important that we’re true to ourselves. I am proud of who I am and the representation of these advertisements.
If you look at me as a drag queen (which I am), whose standing at a urinal with the slogan “Stay Strong”, you may see a man who’s proud to dress in drag, living his life and not worrying about the stigma of what others may think, if caught in that very situation. I believe this to have a very positive cogitation?
As a society, sometimes I believe we’re too quick to find the negative. At no point was there malice or a derogatory motive behind this campaign, or toward my transgendered friends or that of the greater Trans community, to whom I respect and hold in high regard. In fact I am and will continue to be a demonstrated activist within the GLBTIQ community and positively advocate the rights of all those who fall into each letter of our community to the benefit of all society.
Unfortunately I can’t say the same for some who speak so openly and so highly of equality and acceptance without slur or labels, whist promoting that all people are entitled to the same human rights, sadly some of these same people have been the first to make threats or openly berate me as “a transphobic piece of sh#t”, “a wanker”, “a transphobic idiot”, “a homophobic c%nt”, just to name a few. Isn’t that a double standard shown by these who supposedly encourage equality and acceptance? How are those actions positively promoting any community?
Whilst I acknowledge and understand that some may have seen aspects of this particular campaign as a negative or transphobic, I have also been overwhelmed by the support from not only trans people but gay and straight people around the world, for me taking on an approach to diminish the fear, intolerance and insecurities that people have about others, who may seem different to their own way of life.
Furthermore I strongly believe that by having people or persons from all facets of the GLBTIQ community shown in mainstream media, we are one step closer to acceptance and this is something I believe we all want. It seems the more we, as a community run away from the challenge of societal acceptance, the less power we have to educate the mainstream. If this belief makes me a person with no integrity or moral values, as highlighted by some, then for that I apologise.
As for the urinal photo itself, you may see it to be vulgar, tacky or cliché and that’s your right to think that, although I’m representing myself as a drag queen, whist playing out a commonly seen scenario in my life, which has sadly lead to some individuals wishing to ban something that reflects an honest and real life situation.
I’m not asking anyone to change their mind, view or beliefs, as I believe all opinions are valid and all voices need to be heard, but what I do ask; in any situation you’re faced with, no matter how vulnerable you feel at that time or how hopeless you think a situation is, remember “STAY STRONG” is a positive affirmation to those people who are truly living the life they want.
With love and respect to you all. Skye High xxx