Box up your Gender Variance? Manhattan Mini Storage Ad
I saw this ad the other day on a downtown ‘A’ train and I’m not sure how I feel about it. At first glance I saw a gender variant person having a good time dressing female in a storage room. We don’t know if the person is a crossdresser, a drag queen, or transgender. The ad seems to say – I’m being good to my wife and child by not taking up space in our apartment. However, I think it could easily be read as ‘keep your gender variance in the closet’ or ‘hide it away’. Only later when I went hunting for the ad did I see it is named “Cover-Photo-DraqQueen” so we are talking about a drag queen here, but that’s not knowable from just seeing the ad.
I want to say that Manhattan Mini Storage does have a history of LGBTQ positive ads, and I think they meant the best here. (Personally I think storage in New York City is kind of a tax on those who haven’t accepted the fact that they live in New York City, but I digress).
The ad presents a complicated set of questions. What belongs in the home and what gets shoved out? What kind of “accommodations” or “concessions” are being made and by whom? For the married gender variant individual – receiving pressure from a spouse to keep their gender variance hidden is often a very real and painful experience. See a previous post on this issue here with my response to former New York Time’s ‘ethicist’ Chuck Klosterman who took that very stance.
I applaud MMS for their queer positive ad history, and on the one hand, this ad shows a drag queen – good with herself and her life, but I think this one skirts dangerously close to sending the wrong message. Thoughts?