This past Saturday NBC’s "Saturday Night Live" (SNL) aired a segment called "Estro-Maxxx." the punch line? Transgender people.
The skit was a mock commercial for an estrogen replacement therapy drug called Estro-Maxxx, and featured men with facial hair wearing dresses, meant to represent transgender women.
"Having a sex change just became a whole lot easier with Estro-maxx, a once-a-day pill," says a voiceover on the ad that mimics many pharmaceutical commercials on TV. One of the male actors is seen sitting on the edge of a bed and calls the product "a single daily pill that gives you all the sex change (sic) hormones you need."
That scene is followed by a man wearing a dress and a mustache sitting in an office:
"I’m the head of a major corporation, I can’t spend all day increasing market share and turning my penis in to a functional vagina. But with once daily Estro-maxx I can work while my estrogen does."
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has started a petition demanding an apology from NBC.
"The violence, discrimination and harassment that transgender Americans experience each and every day is no laughing matter," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios.
In broadcasting this skit, NBC and SNL are fueling an already hurtful climate. Discrimination is very real for transgender and gender non-conforming people at the workplace, at the grocery store, in the hands of landlords, in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms.
On Friday the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) will be release the most comprehensive data on discrimination against transgender people ever compiled.