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News & Events

13 AUG 2012

Speaking Out - An Open Letter to Meteor About Transphobic Advertising

Meteor is currently running a TV ad that negatively depicts transgender people by promoting stereotypes and encouraging a cheap laugh. Earlier this year Paddy Power also ran a transphobic ad that was met with significant criticism due to its blatant transphobia. There is no doubt that advertising like this is exceedingly detrimental to transgender people and contributes to the stigmatisation and dehumanisation of trans people in Ireland.

TENI has lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland.

You can read the complaints process here.

In response Eva Lacey, a moderator of, wrote a powerful open letter to Meteor.

Dear Meteor,

As a transwoman, my life is generally that bit harder, my parents don't accept me, it's perfectly acceptable for strangers on the street to make comments on genitalia or birth assignment, my private medical insurance doesn't cover my "choice" and so my medical bills are pretty high and then there is my love life.

I'm currently dating someone at the moment, that's going really well, but sometimes when I'm thinking about what would it be like to single and looking again I get a little worried.

While many men and women find transgendered individuals to be appealing partners, not many of them are willing to introduce you to their parents and I'm not going to date someone who is ashamed of me. While they may be part of our community they don't share the same burden. They can limit their exposure to private clubs, where as girls like me are often outed in the supermarket.

I was in a good mood earlier today though, last night my housemate organised a party, every one of the guests was really accepting. I woke up the next day and browsing facebook I saw a link to the new meteor ad.

There is already a lot of shame concerning alternate gender expression and sexuality, particularly in "catholic" Ireland. Which may not be very catholic anymore but we still seem to be cultivating this culture of shame and I'm not really shocked and I'm not really all that offended, I'm getting kind of used to this. I don't see girls like me on tv unless we're the gag or the plot twist, we're the modern day golliwogs.

I guess what I'm hoping, is that you'll read this and feel a little bad for making that advertisement, I'm hoping you'll read this and think about how you and people like you have made me feel like a freak, yet again.

I'm hoping that you'll stop portraying transwomen, cross dressers, drag queens and gay men as the lowest form of partner choice, or clown-like easy entertainment. While you may find it funny, there are plenty of people's lives suffering at the hands of negative, disgusted attitudes towards us. Please do not continue to make our lives more difficult than they already are by encouraging people to laugh at us as an advertising tool. If the person the guy on the internet was dancing with was a black man or woman and portrayed in the same manner, this would not be funny, this would be considered to be racially negative and banned; why then is it ok to do that to us?

I know there isn't a lot of us, and we probably don't matter all that much to you but we could do with some compassion and I believe you would be better people if you were to show us some.

Thanks for your time,

Eva Lacy 



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