Discrimination | Transgender | Video

'You Should Know I'm a Man Before This Goes Too Far': VIDEO


In a misguided attempt at cheekily demonstrating their new tagline, "The truth's not always easy," Truth In Advertising included a transphobic joke in their ad. The ad features individuals singing confessions about various thoughts, deeds, and misdeeds, one of which is a woman and a man on a bed presumably about to undress for sex. When the woman opens her mouth to sing, a man's voice is dubbed over, saying "You should know I'm a man before this goes too far."

Obviously, a transwoman is a woman, not a man, a distinction that can be lost on people who are more ignorant of trans culture and issues. This misstep would be bad enough on its own if it weren't for the fact that the setup that's played for laughs is the very nasty and pernicious stereotype that trans people - transwomen in particular - engage in deliberate deception to trick a straight cisgendered man into sleeping with them. This irrational fear leads to unnecessary hatred for trans people, sometimes with deadly consequences.

For their part, executive director Bonnie Patten released a public apology for the video and it's going through the review process.

While we attempted to use humor in our ad to engage consumers on the serious issue of misleading marketing, it was truly not our intention to negatively portray a transgender person. We sincerely apologize and are reviewing it now.

Reviews like these tend to lead to removals, so if you'd like to see the ad for yourself while it's still live, you can watch it AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: And the ad has indeed been removed.

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  1. I am so looking forward to the trans hysteria over this advert.

    Maybe he was a drag queen in the advert?

    Or are drag queens transphobic as well?

    Was the transwoman / drag queen gay or bi?

    It's time for the LGB and the T's to wish each other well and go their separate ways.

    Posted by: MaryM | Apr 9, 2014 11:17:48 AM

  2. How was this "not their intent"??

    The message is about "misleading marketing" and they're saying a trans woman lies by not even saying, but letting people think she's a woman. I don't see how that can be seen as anything but 100% transphobic in intent.

    I work in advertising. Between the moment an ad is thought up and the moment it ends up online, at least 50 people (sometimes closer to 100) see it, see the script and have time to say something. I can't believe NO ONE said anything and that this wasn't a conscious decision.

    Posted by: Jols | Apr 9, 2014 11:20:21 AM

  3. MARYM, you are free to go your own way and we gay men who fully support trans equality will wish you well. But we won't follow you.

    Posted by: reader | Apr 9, 2014 11:24:44 AM

  4. Reader's too kind. Go to hell, Marym.

    Posted by: Mikey | Apr 9, 2014 11:30:34 AM

  5. Trans people don't actually change genders. Chaz Bono is not a guy.

    But I am sure this strikes a nerve because I'm sure its a big deal for trans to pass. Just like Sarah Jane in Imitation of life. Anything that reminds them they are real freaks them out.

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Apr 9, 2014 11:42:25 AM

  6. People wearing their heart on their sleeve. Everyone is offended by everything. Sad.

    Posted by: Ted | Apr 9, 2014 11:46:34 AM

  7. Homo, in some countries you would be murdered for being gay. Try to have some perspective, you scumbag.

    Posted by: Mikey | Apr 9, 2014 11:51:37 AM

  8. Video is back up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLoqx2OmtEA

    Truth in advertising had made a backup copy.

    Posted by: Randal Oulton | Apr 9, 2014 12:00:03 PM

  9. Er, make that - think progress had made a backup. (sorry phone started ringing at that exact second.)

    Posted by: Randal Oulton | Apr 9, 2014 12:00:46 PM

  10. There is not a pervasive trope in the media about drag queens "tricking" unsuspecting men into having sex with them. There IS, in fact, one about trans women doing so. Pretending that this doesn't feed into that dangerous narrative is disingenuous, at best, if not actively malicious.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Apr 9, 2014 12:04:53 PM

  11. Anyone who knows anything about how advertising agencies work will agree that there is no such thing as an ad 'backfiring'. All likely responses are explored, especially when something controversial is intended. These are marketing experts, & the so-called negative reaction is actually part of the deal. Pulling a commercial after the 'offense' has nothing to do with apology or reparation - it's just good marketing.

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Apr 9, 2014 12:17:23 PM

  12. Is it possible for a trans-woman to self identify as a man?

    Posted by: will | Apr 9, 2014 12:33:56 PM

  13. "Obviously, a transwoman is a woman, not a man, a distinction that can be lost on people who are more ignorant of trans culture and issues."

    Well, at least we now know that Christian Walters is an ignorant fool who is in favor of rape by fraud. Christian, if a "transwomen" is a woman, then there should be absolutely no problem with disclosing her trans status to a sex partner. But they don't want to do that. They claim a right to trick their partners into sex, obtaining sexual access to another person's body without informed consent. Trans activists are objectively pro-rape. There is an example of this in this week's column of Savage Love, which concerns a "transman" who not only didn't disclose, but actively lied to "his" partner to get access to her body. Another example: trans writer Natalie Reed has boldly proclaimed - to the great approval of "her" trans audience - that transgenders' need for easy sex trumps the rights of others. The trans movement is a pro-rape movement.

    Posted by: Debs | Apr 9, 2014 1:30:24 PM

  14. Christian Walters is the transphobe here. Why can't this transwoman identify as a man? Who is Christian to put zir in a box? Maybe the trans*^$# in the ad is actually "polygender" or "genderqueer"? I think Christian owes an apology to the entire trans*+!!@ community.

    BTW, none of this is insane.

    Posted by: JMartindale | Apr 9, 2014 1:37:18 PM

  15. Or that Black women are fat and latinos speak bad english....that ad was "offensive" in more ways than one, but no one cares about black and latino stereotypes, also asian...if you're gay or a tranny -gasp- ohnoes !

    Posted by: Welp | Apr 9, 2014 2:21:32 PM

  16. Trollroad continues to live up to its reputation.

    And to think this could all be solved by a switch to a different commenting format. Such a seemingly simple fix.

    Posted by: Tyler | Apr 9, 2014 3:29:06 PM

  17. "And the ad has indeed been removed"

    No it hasn't.

    It's just been marked private.

    Posted by: Randy | Apr 9, 2014 6:04:13 PM

  18. TheDrDonna-

    Answer a question directly and honestly: If a transwoman is with a partner who does not know that she is trans and the trans person knows that the partner would want to know this information and that the information would impact their consent, does the trans person have any obligation to disclose? Yes or no?

    Posted by: Tommy | Apr 9, 2014 7:28:41 PM

  19. @tommy... wasn't that the entire plot to boys don't cry

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Apr 9, 2014 9:13:53 PM

  20. Tommy: no, she doesn't. A person who is infertile wouldn't "need" to tell someone that they are before sex, even though that person may care deeply. A person who is mixed race but passes for white is under no obligation to tell their potential romantic partner about that fact, even if that partner is a racist and would care a lot.

    That's not to say that it wouldn't have the potential to cause issues. I believe that openness is very important for a lasting relationship, and I would be very much upfront with my status as a trans person, but that doesn't mean that I expect everyone to follow my own personal rules, because that would put me in the same camp as social conservatives who expect everyone to live by their religions rules.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Apr 9, 2014 11:13:27 PM

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