No apology needed: Libra drag queen defends ad
The drag queen at the centre of a controversial Libra ad has spoken out, saying the advertisement reflects the "honesty about the life of a drag queen".
Tampon maker Libra apologised earlier this week for the television ad, which had been branded "outrageously transphobic".
The ad, which wrapped with the catch phrase "Libra gets girls", faced strong criticism, with dozens posting harsh comments on the company's Facebook page, saying it implied transgender people were not real women because they don't menstruate.
The ad was then pulled from New Zealand television.
Sandee Crack, a gay man who dresses in drag, said he wanted to be involved in the ad because having a drag queen in mainstream media was "one step closer" to being accepted by society.
"I feel hurt that representing myself as a drag queen on television and playing out a common place scenario in my life has led 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 in a statement.
The ad depicts a drag queen and a blonde woman standing side by side in a nightclub restroom putting on mascara and lip gloss, and adjusting their bras competitively.
The blonde woman then pulls out her Libra tampon, leaving the drag queen to storm out of the toilets in a huff.
Crack said he had received support from transgendered, gay and straight people from throughout the world since the ad was broadcast, but had also received some negative feedback.
"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," he said.
"This is a fight I also feel strongly about."
Crack is a gay male who dresses in drag and performs, but he is not transgender.
"A drag queen is a man in women's clothing and if that offends a trans woman I am afraid I cannot apologise, as by doing so I am apologising for being me."
Libra said in a statement earlier this week that the ad was never intended to upset or offend anyone.
"Independent research was undertaken and the advertisement was viewed positively during that testing," the statement said.
"Libra takes all feedback very seriously, and in response to this, we will immediately review our future position with this campaign based on the feedback received.
The ad would not be screened on New Zealand television, but Crack hopes it will still be broadcast on Australian television.