The moment Caitlyn Jenner announced herself to the world, shot for the cover of Vanity Fair by Annie Leibovitz, was one of the most important moments towards greater trans acceptance. Jenner went on to beat President Obama's record for the fastest Twitter account to reach one million followers, and through her docu-series I Am Cait she began an important conversation about the visibility and rights of trans people.
But one company is causing outrage by stocking a Jenner-inspired Halloween costume mocking the 65-year-old former athlete.
Retailer Spirit Halloween’s costume, which claims to be unisex' but comes with chest padding and is worn by a male on the website, is a cheap imitation of the dress worn by Jenner on her Vanity Fair cover, with the words 'Call Me Caitlyn' worn like a sash as part of the outfit.
The description on the website anytimecostumes.com says: "You probably won’t break any Twitter records when you wear this outfit like Caitlyn did, but you’ll be sure to get a few laughs out of your friends and the other guests at the get together."
People voiced their problems with the costume on social media:
Or maybe that Caitlyn Jenner costume is offensive bc trans people are killed everyday and cis people get to wear a costume like nothing?— The Gay Burn Book (@SouthernHomo) August 25, 2015
it's upsetting that people are actually getting Caitlyn Jenner halloween costumes...shes not a costume shes a real person???— rachel (@motelroses) August 24, 2015
It was also pointed out that the same company was responsible for a men's 'Tranny granny' costume and made a 'Pocahottie' outfit last year that was accused of trivialising Indigenous women as sexual objects.
A spokesperson for the company has defended the Jenner costume, however, saying it is meant to be supportive of her.
"Caitlyn Jenner has proven to be the most important real-life superhero of the year," they told The Daily News. "Spirit Halloween is proud to carry the costume that celebrates her."
But Darren Scott, editor of Gay Times, told The Independent that the company's attempts to be on Jenner's side isn't good enough.
"How they've tried to pass this off as a 'celebration' is laughable, especially when you can see that there are other costumes mocking minority groups - like 'Tranny Granny' - available from some of the same sites," he said. "It's stupidity that, sadly, comes from being uneducated."
A Stonewall spokesperson said in a statement to The Independent: "This costume reduces trans people to objects, helping to propagate ignorant attitudes that lead to discrimination and violence. It is totally unacceptable and should be taken off shelves immediately."
A petition has since been launched on Change.org to get the costumes removed, called 'Stop exploiting Caitlyn Jenner with a transphobic costume'.Reuse content