Every time a TV spot is criticized for being chauvinistic or homophobic, the ad men have the same canned response: “It’s a joke! Haven’t you got a sense of humor?”. Well, these days it seems trans people are the butt of the joke, from New Zealand tampons to the first aid course the company made me take this week, to this recent Israeli ad for Domino’s Pizza:
In the ad, Israeli singer and comedian Maor Cohen talks about being pampered by his mom in the winter time. The camera zooms out just as a big masculine arm slaps Cohen, and we see a male actor playing the role of the mom whose pampering apparently involves delivering pizzas to her son. Now, you don’t need to hone your Hebrew skills to pick up on the pointy boobs, the crotch grab and the general macho quality of the mom character. Simply put, there doesn’t seem to be any plausible explanation as to why a cisman was cast to play the mom – except for the obvious one: “Whoosh, that’s the joke…” – and a very transphobic one, in my opinion.
How can a first aid course make fun of trans people, you ask? Well, one needs to try very hard, as the EMT that taught the course proved: When he talked about snake bites and how you should never cut the bitten organ to extract the venom, the instructor held up a piece of paper which read “Do not cut” and had a photo of Israeli singer Dana International on it. Get it? Do not cut. Yeah, I know…
Israeli telecom provider 012 Smile know how to create an ad without insulting trans people (or their friends). Read all about it here.
Sitting up on the roof at our parents’ house
counting the days until we could get out
One more Monday coming on fast
For the small town survivors at the head of the class.
They asked were we fine
We said yes every time
Hoping that someone would see through the lie
We were the other girls
raised on pretending
that there was a part for us
in that storybook ending
Now that we’re grown
we see we’re not alone
and what did we find?
The other girls were here all the time
Pushing on through, keeping our heads down
Dodging sticks and stones with our hearts on the ground
Running out of places to keep all that shame
Until just one someone calls us by our name
And says I see who you are
and I know your scars
because they’re the same ones I’ve got on my heart
Sitting up on the roof of your parents’ house
Counting the days until you can get out
Amanda is in gym class where the kids go to get fit,
But her eye’s not on the ball at all — it’s on Ms. Foster’s tits.
She’s got a dirty little secret (“shhh”) that everybody knows.
She came out, but she wishes she had left the closet closed.
And here is little Davey hiding in the piano room,
Playing Wicked, Rent, Chicago, Cats and Brigadoon.
He’s hiding from the locker room and jocks who roam the halls,
Where he’s safe from wedgies, shiners and destruction of his balls…
But when they call you weirdos, fags, and rejects, flamers, gays and hags,
Baby dykes and homotikes, Lesbos, homos, and queer bags,
It might seem like it’s hopeless and will never be ok,
But listen to the ones who care — believe them when they say:
IT GETS BETTER
One day you’ll look back and you won’t give a fuck
When your swimming through your pussy vault like Scrooge Fucking McDuck.
And when you’re snatching your first Grammy — super glammy lookin’ slick –
It won’t be much time till they get in line for a chance to suck your dick.
IT GETS BETTER
It wasn’t long till they told Johnny that he wasn’t normal
When he wore a strapless gown and high heels to his junior formal.
But the cool guys they felt passionately that his chosen fashion
Was a rationalization for a rash of Johnny bashin’.
Everyone made fun of Shannon cause she kissed a girl.
So she hid her head and closed her mouth and shut out all the world.
She is brilliant, smart and funny, kind and talented — but hey –
It doesn’t matter what she is cause all she is to them is gay.
But when they call you carpet munchers, fudge packers, and queens,
Lesbians in training, Marys, Nelly, Nancy teens,
It might seem like you’re different, weird, unusual or strange,
But hang in there cause things have always and will always change.
IT GETS BETTER
Jon’s a stylist and he’s gotten pretty far.
Now he doesn’t get his ass kicked but his ass kissed by the stars.
And when Shannon got to college she met people just like her,
And she realized who the d-bags and the fuckheads really were.
IT GETS BETTER
Jane Lynch, Boy George, Versace,
Adam Lambert, Liberace,
Elton, Tim Gunn, Michael Stype,
Ellen, Rosie, Wanda Sykes.
Jodie Foster, Linda Perry
Gandalf the Wizard? — actually a fairy.
Simon Amstell, K.D. Lang.
Even Brando like some wang.
Rachel Maddow (huge muff diver),
Richard Hatch who won Survivor,
Nathan Lane, Truman Capote,
Even Obiwan Kenobi.
Billy Joe from Greenday’s bi,
Ricky Martin — big surprise!
Doogie Howser — what a showman.
Dave Hyde Pierce and all the Romans.
Tommy Tune and Alvin Ailey,
Meredith Baxter, Leisha Hailey.
Lohan, Paquin both are bi.
Boy George and George Takei.
Cher has a transgendered child.
George Michael and Oscar Wild,
Everyone involved in Glee,
One-tenth of everyone you know — and me!
All of them were just like you.
It got better for them, and it will for you too.
IT GETS BETTER
If you’re gay or bi or something in between,
There’s no one who is meaner than a bunch of asshole teens.
Those assholes are the first people that you will soon forget
When you’re living life and learning how much better it can get….
Every Who down in ‘Whoville’ liked Christmas a lot,
But the Who that didn’t fit in did not.
He hated the Who girls who loved the boys.
For him all their giggles and flirts were just noise!
What was sad, no sadder, no saddest of all,
Was when this Who’s smile started to fall.
He hated himself for his feelings and thoughts.
He yelled, I’d rather have antlers, pimplers, or spots.
No matter what this Who tried he couldn’t fit in.
And one day he took a Who’s fist to the chin!
The Who-bully called him a terrible name.
And other Who-boys repeated the same.
What hurt him the most was the holiday season.
But, he really did have a very good reason.
Under the mistletoe others kissed by the fire.
But, when he kissed the girls he felt like a liar.
He wanted to stop it, to end the whole thing.
But then the Phone-Ringler started to ring.
And who did he hear with his little Who ears?
It was he, he himself, in twenty-five years!
And his older self said to his younger lost Who.
Don’t end it I beg, we have so much to do.
Soon you will leave and move far far away,
And your world will grow three sizes that day.
You’re going to lose a few Who-friends, it’s true.
And parts of the journey will be scary, and new.
But you’re going to have great friends, family, and LIFE.
And you will take a man instead of a wife.
I know now that seems crazy and terribly scary.
But someday the world won’t care who you marry.
Don’t miss out on that change, please be a part of it!
Hang in there, fight through, and I promise you’ll love it!
Many will surprise you and love you for you.
And someday, I promise, even you’ll love you too.
And you’ll sit by the fire in your new Christmas sweater,
And think to yourself: Wow… It got so much better.