Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

Drag queen defends 'transphobic' tampon ad

Libra says it regrets any offence the advertisement caused. Photo / Supplied
Libra says it regrets any offence the advertisement caused. Photo / Supplied

The drag queen star of a controversial tampon advertisement, pulled amid backlash from the transgender community, has defended the campaign and has hit out against "dragphobia".

The Libra ad features a blonde woman and a drag queen in a bathroom seemingly competing against one another as they apply make-up and adjust their bras.

When the woman produces a tampon, the drag queen walks out defeated.

Transgender advocates slammed the ad as transphobic, by implying people could only be women if they got their periods.

Libra yesterday apologised for any offence the ad had caused, and pulled it from New Zealand television.

The Melbourne drag queen who stars in the ad, Sandee Crack, has defended his involvement in the ad.

In a blog post yesterday he said he identified as a gay man who dressed in drag as a performer, and had never considered himself transgendered.

He slammed the backlash against the ad as "dragphobia".

"Unfortunately, a small portion of the trans community have chosen to view the ad as a personal attack on their fight to be viewed as equal women within society. This is a fight I also feel strongly about and I hope to help educate the wider community on.

"However, I feel hurt that representing myself as a drag queen on television and playing out a common place scenario in my life has lead to a clear 'dragphobia' among some transgendered individuals, who wish to pull the plug on something that reflects true honesty about the life of a drag queen."

He said he would not apologise if being a man in women's clothing offended transgendered women, saying "by doing so I am apologising for being me".

Sandee Crack said he saw the ad as an opportunity to make a positive step towards acceptance for drag queens and gay men in the wider community.

"Libra were both sensitive, professional and accepting of my needs as a drag queen and as a gay man throughout the production process.

"I never felt for one moment that I would be depicted as a trans woman, nor do I believe that I have been. We consciously kept my arm hair, chose strapless dresses to accentuate my broad shoulders and if you look carefully you will notice my stubble is slightly visible. They also ensured I looked much taller than the girl next to me."

He said he was shown the ad before its release and was "thrilled with it".

"I believe strongly that by putting a drag queen into the mainstream media, we are one step closer to acceptance and this is something I am very proud to be part of."

He hoped the ad would run as planned in Australia.

- APNZ

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