Caitlyn Jenner Halloween Costume Sparks Outrage
A Caitlyn Jenner Halloween costume is being offered through several retailers, sparking outrage online, and from a variety of LGBT groups and activists.
Caitlyn Jenner Halloween Costume
The costume in question draws its inspiration from Jenner’s historical cover of Vanity Fair that doubled as her debut as a woman. Included in the unisex costume package are shorts, a wig, a padded top and “Call Me Caitlyn” pageant sash.
Although there are a number of retailers that are selling the costume, a Change.org petition singles out Spirit Halloween.
“We demand that you revoke your ideas and production of a Caitlyn Jenner costume for Halloween. With a reputation of sexist, racist, and culturally appropriative costumes, we are concerned that this costume will continue your oppressive tradition with a transphobic costume of Caitlyn Jenner,” reads the petition.
“To make a costume out of a marginalized identity reduces that person and community to a stereotype for privileged people to abuse,” the petition continues. “In this case, if you follow through with production of a Caitlyn Jenner costume, cisgender people will purchase it to make fun of her and our community.”
Spirit Halloween spokesperson Lisa Barr has defended the store’s decision to sell the costume, calling it a celebration.
“At Spirit Halloween, we create a wide range of costumes that are often based on celebrities, public figures, heroes and superheroes,” Barr said in a statement. “Caitlyn Jenner is all of the above and our Caitlyn-inspired costume reflects just that.”
In reaction to Barr’s defense of the decision, National Center for Transgender Equality spokesperson Vincent Villano pointed out that a Halloween costume is in no way a celebration of trans identity.
“There’s no tasteful way to ‘celebrate’ Caitlyn Jenner or respect transgender people this way on the one night of the year when people use their most twisted imaginations to pretend to be villains and monsters,” Villano said.
Transgender Law Center executive director Kris Hayashi agrees with Villano.
“It’s really clear that the costume is meant to make fun of Caitlyn and transgender people by putting it under the category of humor,” Hayashi said. “We’re in a moment of ongoing violence and crisis in the community. It’s a real affront to the community to think you can make fun of transgender people and go to a party dressed like Caitlyn when we’re struggling to survive on a daily basis.”