With summer right behind us, we look to fall for cooler weather and what I like to refer to as “The most wonderful time of the year:” Halloween. When I was younger I loved Halloween because to me it marked the one day a year where I could dress just how I wanted. I could choose a male costume and nothing about it would be scrutinized nor would I get picked on.
While every year retailers find ways to profit from misogynistic and culturally inappropriate costumes- just Google the “Mexican costume” or “terrorist costume” and see what comes up. This year is no different, the Halloween retailer Spirit plans to offer a costume to give you the option to dress up as Caitlyn Jenner, because you know it’s not tacky enough already to buy a cheap $70 dollar costume in a poorly aired room why not offend people who are being killed as well.
Company’s like this are only contributing to the fact that trans issues aren’t being taken seriously. I’m sure, and I’m going out on a limb here to give someone at Spirit the benefit of the doubt, that someone over at Spirit had the intention to have Caitlyn portrayed as a superhero by allowing the costume to be available. I get it, you thought this would maybe go over as you being progressive and “for the cause” but you could have simply done that by donating a portion of your sales to Trans organization and support groups instead of using her to make a profit.
In an article published by the Huffington post, Vincent Villano of the National Center for Transgender Equality went on to say
“There’s no tasteful way to ‘celebrate’ Caitlyn Jenner or respect transgender people this way on the one night of the year when people use their most twisted imaginations to pretend to be villains and monsters,”
and in all honesty YES. One hundred percent yes to this statement, there are going to be so many people that are going to take this costume to social media and use it to spew hate and ignorance.
Right now we are in the middle of an epidemic where trans women are being ran over in parking lots and the media projects this into not being important enough to report the right gender, we don’t need this costume right now. There is going to be a young teen that is in the middle of trying to come to terms and understand him/herself and seeing people show up at parties or school in a costume to try and be the laugh of the party is not going to make them feel too confident about coming out or being themselves.
To be as perfectly clear as I can about this costume idea, there will never be an okay time to use someone’s bravery as a means to potentially diminish their acts by allowing ignorant people to use this image. Period.