The battle for transgender acceptance is like walking uphill in high heels – a tough slog. As transgendered woman we constantly run afoul of social norms and religious ideology. We’ve valiantly tried to tie transgender rights to civil rights, using the law as a tool to drive equality. The transgender law center is one organization that does great work in this area.
Many have advocated for a dual pronged approach – seeking to change not only the law, but also the hearts and minds of it’s citizens. I agree with them – I think it’s vitally important to express yourself to others in a positive way. Each interaction will break down their prejudices as they see that we are more alike than different.
We have a third arrow in our quiver as we fight for acceptance and equal rights.
Crossdressers – Show Me The Money!
For those outside the US my reference to Republicans may seem confusing. In the US there are two dominant political parties. I’m over simplifying: The Democrats (Obama’s party) typically advocate a more liberal agenda – both socially (e.g. gay marriage) and as it affects business (workers rights, consumer rights). The Republicans (Bush’s party) typically advocate a more conservative agenda – both socially (conservative Christian morals, anti-abortion) and as it relates to business (more business friendly, lower corporate taxes, etc.).
There are few social forces more powerful than the free market economy. Over the last century it has presided over America’s path to becoming a super power, and this century is ushering in China’s resurgence as a global player. It has given us better cars, cheaper clothes and faster computers. The more cynical among you may lament that greed has been the predominant force of the last 150 years. Even after the last two years, making money is still an important part of our society. And one that we need to recognize as we work towards transgender acceptance.
Transgender Capitalism – It Starts With a Blessing
A few weeks ago I raved about the experience I had at a local Lucy’s Activewear store. I also sent an email to their customer service department:
I wanted to share with you a wonderful experience I had recently at your Bellevue, WA store.
As a transgendered woman there are many times I receive questionable service when out shopping. This last weekend I was looking for some hot yoga pants in Lucy’s. The staff was courteous and helpful. They offered suggestions on what would is the most comfortable, what most flatters my figure and let me know which new styles were coming for fall.
I must admit that I was somewhat blown away by the level of service I received, and wanted to say thank you!
I run a reasonably popular blog and many of my readers are interested in woman’s apparel. I thought I would share my wonderful experience with them – you can read what I wrote at https://www.crossdresserheaven.com/every-crossdresser-should-shop-here-at-least-once/
I hope many of them go on to become loyal customers of Lucy, just like I am!
Thank you again for your wonderful clothes, your stellar service and for being transgender friendly!
The next day I received an encouraging and heart warming response:
You just made our day. We’re so happy that you had such a great experience shopping lucy at Bellevue! We love the great blog review, and we have forwarded the link to our PR rep. I will also be forwarding your compliments to our Bellevue store.
Thank you so much for writing and sharing your great lucy experience with us.
In some small way I rewarded Lucy for being transgender friendly. It took 10 minutes of my time, didn’t require me to ‘out’ myself and reinforced transgender customers as a market opportunity. As part of doing that I hope I also imparted a small measure of our shared humanity to the people who received my email.
Business Cannot Justify Transgender Bias
The most successful businesses are driven to create value – for customers and shareholders. Very few let ideology get in the way of profits. The reason more businesses aren’t transgender friendly is because they don’t know we’re a market for their products. Or if they do know, they underestimate our collective purchasing power.
Changing The Hearts And Minds of Businesses In 3 Simple Steps
You can do 3 simple things to ensure transgender acceptance among the business community:
- When you have a great experience let them know! Most companies allow you to contact customer service through their website. It’s quick, and you don’t need to disclose your male identity. Let them know about a great experience you had, no matter whether you shopped en femme or bought feminine things as a man. Be sincere – everyone loves praise!
- Share your wonderful experience with the world! If you have a blog, or belong to a forum – let others know about your experience. Reward the business for being transgender friendly.
- Highlight a transgender friendly business on Crossdresser Heaven! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Share your story with me, the name and website of the business and I’ll post it to Crossdresser Heaven.
I also recommend letting them know when you share your experience on your website (or when it appears on Crossdresser Heaven) – it’s a powerful motivator for them to know that your experience touches many others as well.
More Articles by Vanessa Law
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- I Want to Live Like That
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Latest posts by Vanessa Law (see all)
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- Scholar Program – Transwomen’s Social Support for Medication Adherence - April 6, 2019