Dear Sir,I wish to register my concern at your recent television commercial featuring David Walliams and Matt Lucas of Little Britain fame in their guise as the transvestite characters Florence and Emily.I feel you have been misled by your advertising people on two counts.First, these particular characters are grossly offensive to the transgendered community with their grotesque portrayal of the worst possible stereotype. These are not a drag act portraying genetic female characters such as Lilly Savage or Brenda and Audrey from the Bounty/Plenty kitchen towel adverts, these are a pair of comedians seeking cheap laughs at the expense of a vulnerable and marginalised group that does not need such negative mainstream portrayals of themselves forced on the public at large. Because of these idiots, transgendered and transsexual people in the real world have to endure a new set of insults, and now you are helping perpetuate them.Second, I do not think you are aware just how many transgendered people will see these adverts and be offended by your brand. You might be thinking “So what? A few transsexuals are a bit hot under the collar, a storm in a teacup, really!”. To which I'd answer this: the transsexuals who are living in the female role are merely the tip of the iceberg. Take a look around your office, or better still take a look around your busiest branch. Your customers, that is. I can't speak for the women, but as many as ten percent of the men will have transgendered tendencies. If you saw me in the street for example you wouldn't give me a second look, yet though I look like just another happily married bloke I'm transgendered and have the medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria to prove it. There are a lot of people out there with the same condition who like me for whatever reason can't transition to a female role, and when you add in the far higher numbers of part-time transvestites, genderqueers and other groups within our community you are looking at a huge number of potential customers. For instance I am a member of a couple of organisations for transgendered people who number their membership in the tens of thousands. And that is only in my particular segment of the community. I've even heard it said by the statisticians among us that there are more gender variant people than there are people with red hair. We walk among you, and you just don't see us. As you look around you ask yourself this: not “Are any of these guys trans?”, but “Which of these guys are trans?”, because I guarantee some of them will be and they won't be the ones you'd expect.In conclusion, by hiring Lucas and Walliams to do this advert your advertising people have offended a far larger unseen potential customer base than you realise, and have firmly associated that offence with your brand.I'd like to urge you to do the decent thing and dump this despicable advert. If you wish to broaden your mind on the transgendered community as a whole, I attend your local transgender support group in Swindon and would be happy to take you to one of its meetings.Yours faithfully, (Me-as-bloke)
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Gonna bag me a banker
My letter to Graham Beale at Nationwide.