Sprint’s attack ad against AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile provides another example of the media’s use of ridicule to represent trans people. The ad implies that either presentation of the non-cisgender community or a man wearing a dress – or both – can only be understood in the absence of rational thought. This implication is directly associated with Tsai’s observation that “most people cannot understand why a man would give up his social privilege to become a disempowered female,” which blatantly ignores trans identity (10).
There are various topics that can fall under the category of “does not make any sense,” many of which evade demoralizing depictions of a community. That Sprint chose non-cisgender identity as the subject of their ridicule amplifies the rejection of the “biggest challenge to our essentialized gender dichotomy” that non-cisgender people pose (Tsai 10). Such representation enforces the heterosexual, cisgender normative through the ridicule of deviances from the norm.
Tsai, Wan-Hsui Sunny. “Assimilating the Queers: Representations of Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexual, and Transgender People in Mainstream Advertising.” Advertising & Society Review 11.1 (2010). Web.