A change.org petition asking Victoria’s Secret to hire transgender beauty queen and entertainer, Carmen Carrera, as their first transgender model has collected nearly 50,000 signatures. Carrera, who gained mainstream prominence as a contestant in the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, went on to gender reassignment surgery, completing her transition quite publicly after the show’s conclusion.
The petition states: “By asking Carmen to be a model, Victoria’s Secret would show the entire community that they embrace trans patrons. There are so many prejudices toward the trans community, even within the LGBT community, and many trans individuals are not seen as real people. To see a transgender model walk would show that trans women are to be taken seriously and that Angels are selected because of their character and talent. As a brand, Victoria’s Secret should feel comfortable marketing towards ALL types of women.”
While it might seem a little frivolous, and of little bearing on the daily lives of trans women who were not blessed with supermodel looks, and perfectly realized female bodies, the inclusion of Ms. Carrera as a Victoria’s Secret Angel would nonetheless represent a big step for the larger community of transgender women, the next generations of those struggling with gender dysphoria, as well as providing the larger cisgender society in which we live, an attractive public face with which to identify with trans issues.
Appearing on the Katie Couric Show, Carrera spoke about the Victoria’s Secret petition and her transition, deftly handling and deflecting Couric’s questions about her vagina, perfectly illustrating why having an intelligent and eloquent spokesperson is so critical for the trans community. Carrera, as an exceptionally beautiful woman by any measure, provides a face for the community that is difficult to ridicule by the mainstream, and will allow those who are less aesthetically blessed to move forward in her wake.
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