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Bourbon ad accused of trans stereotypes

in AUSTRALIA, 23/12/2012

A new advertising campaign featuring a drag queen urinating has drawn accusations of stereotyping transgender people.

One of the advertisements by Adelaide-based alcohol company VOK Beverages for Bearded Lady American Bourbon, described as “brave and edgy” in a VOK press release, shows a man in a dress using a urinal and the tagline ‘Stay Strong’.

The majority of the campaign, launched on Saturday December 1 and featuring a series of visual advertisements, is being shown outdoors, in print and online, but the urinal advertisement is only being featured in Zoo and Maxim magazines.

Transgender Victoria spokesperson Sally Goldner said the advertisement conjured up transgender stereotypes, comparing it to a controversial Libra commercial that aired in January only to be withdrawn following widespread accusations of transphobia.

“It’s definitely not ideal. Because it’s not a full TV ad with dramatic music it’s less intense, but it’s still incredibly stereotypical in the facial expression and stance that the person is using. It’s careful enough that it’s harder to pin down,” Goldner told the Star Observer.

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