A Dallas News Editor shared photos of a Texas restaurant’s transphobic bathroom signs. The men’s room shows a photo of Jenner winning the Olympic gold in the decathlon at the 1976 Montreal Games. Meanwhile, the women’s has a photo of her Vanity Fair cover.
Dom DiFurio tweeted a photo of the bathroom doors at Dodie’s Place Cajun Bar & Grill on Monday (30 October). The restaurant is in Allen, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
What’s going on here Dallas? pic.twitter.com/CgllDKliE2
— Dom (@DomDiFurio) October 30, 2017
The restaurant posted a photo and announcement of the bathroom doors in August.
The post proudly proclaims: ‘Come meet our newest members of the Dodie’s crew, Caitlyn & Bruce!’
Dangers of casual transphobia
Making light of the transgender identity like this poses dangers of discrimination and mockery. It reduces the complexities of an emotional and physical identity to a short-sighted binary joke.
Transgender people, and especially transgender women, face disproportionately high rates of discrimination and hate crimes.
An August report from NCAVP revealed there have been more hate-related LGBTI homicides so far in 2017 than all of 2016.
‘A lighthearted gesture’
Reactions to the bathroom doors have, predictably, been mixed.
Some find it funny, voicing opinions to ‘take a joke’. Others, however, see the ‘joke’ as harmful and offensive.
Dodie’s posted a response on Facebook yesterday (2 November), taking a defensive stance.
The statement describes the doors as ‘a lighthearted gesture to push back against the political correctness that seems to have a stranglehold on this country right now’.
Here’s the full statement:
First and foremost, our intention was not to make fun of or offend anyone when we installed the pictures of Bruce and Caitlyn on our bathroom doors.
It was merely a lighthearted gesture to push back against the political correctness that seems to have a stranglehold on this country right now. We believe that political correctness has done more to silence rather than encourage important discussions that our society probably needs to have.
Based on the mind-boggling feedback, both positive and negative, people are having that discussion. However, name calling and words like transphobic, deviant, racist, homophobic, bigot, etc. serve nothing but to continue to divide us instead of uniting us. After all, we are all part of the same race – the human race. Surely, we can discuss this topic and many others without slapping hurtful labels on each other. Please know that we are here to discuss this and move forward as a community. Everyone is welcome here.
There is no indication whether or not Dodie’s plans to remove the images.
GSN contacted Dodie’s for further clarification.
Update 3/11/17: Lou Weaver, Transgender Programs Coordinator of Equality Texas released the following statement to GSN:
‘I think using Caitlyn Jenner’s photos in such a manner is horrible. Transgender people are not jokes nor should their likeness be used in such a disparaging manner. We must be respectful of all people all the time.’