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Tampon ad not broadly offensive says Otter

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News - 4th January 2012

9.32am: An Auckland drag performer who has also lived as a trans woman says he isn't too offended by a tampon advertisement which has been withdrawn after mounting criticism that it was transphobic and misled people about the reality for MtoF transgender people.

The TV ad shows a woman alongside what appears to be either a drag queen or a transwoman. A game of one-upmanship arises as the two apply make-up and adjust their bosoms. Finally the woman 'trumps' the trans woman or drag queen, by bringing out her box of tampons.

Transgender group Agender in New Zealand has slammed the ad which was withdrawn. The ad has also been attacked on the manufacturer's website for implying that menstruation is what defines a woman.

Although it is unclear whether the character is intended to be a drag queen or a transgendered person, Agender's Cherise Witehira says the ad is "pretty much saying the only way you can be a woman is to get your period. That’s where a lot of the anger in the [Trans] community is coming from."

However, Wayne Otter, whose Miss K character is a fixture of the Auckland entertainment scene and who became 'Ella' "for some time a long time ago," says the ad didn't have much affect at all, "and I think that's because the character is more of a drag queen than a transperson," Otter says.

"I can understand how it would affect a transperson who is trying to be a woman," he says, but he also wonders how many trans people are actually offended. "I think sometimes we see some people speaking as though they represent everybody in a minority group and I'm not sure that they always do."

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