American Apparel shows guts, puts out a call for transgender models

trans modelTHE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — While it’s one thing for a nationally known apparel maker to put out a call for transgender models, it’s another thing to do so immediately following somewhat of a controversial national discussion about trans people triggered by the Chelsea Manning case.

Although this promotion likely may have been on the schedule for some time, however there was ample time for American Apparel to postpone, and they didn’t. So for that, I’m giving them kudos for this gutsy move!

For those who argue this kind of campaign amounts to exploitation, I vote no. Not only is it an opportunity of trans people to model — we certainly know there’s no shortage trans models — there’s the opportunity to portray trans people in a positive light, something that’s often in woefully short supply at times. American Apparel has a track record of doing good for trans and LGBT people, so I suggest we give them a bit of leeway if they happen to make a few bucks along the way.


I am not entirely sure if the promotion was a one day thing or ongoing. Traffic was heavy when I attempted to get further information.

I previously wrote about American Apparel when they hired America’s Top Model contestant and trans women Isis King to model for them:

American Apparel:


trans model

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Categories: Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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2 replies

  1. I do appreciate your point about portraying trans people positively, but I can’t help feeling that it is less helpfull for for trans people than it is alienating.

    Just as mainstream modelling celebrates an ideal body image, generally ignoring those who don’t fit into that category, it is the same (perhaps worse) for transsexual people.

    Is there any reason to think that American Apparel will depart from the same idealised body shape as the mainstream for this promotion?

    Many trans men and women struggle to reach their desired outward appearance and this kind of thing can set a high bar for us. A bar with which we will from that point on, in the wider public’s view, be compared. Potentially making our social transition and integration all the more difficult.

    I do want us to be shown in positive ways, and wouldn’t want us left out of any career or vocation, including modelling. However, I would certainly prefer to see trans people contributing across the board as ordinary, all shapes and sizes, people, in all kinds of everyday occupations.

    Also, I think it might be better if it was apparent that trans models have an equal chance of securing any modelling job, as men or women, not split off in that 3rd gender way again.

    Still, better to be talked about than not I suppose.


  2. I’m a computer programmer who’s had a trouble-free transition so far. I’ve lost no friends and relatives, though I need to tell more, and I’ve made lots of friends as Linda.

    I joined IBM because their insurance covers TS procedures, but I’ll be leaving after the first two weeks in September because I got another job. I was back home moving mom to a retirement home. An Accenture manager was lucky to get me because I stayed with mom a few nights. Or was it fate? He interviewed me a year ago and really liked me. I had an interview on 8/13/13. He said on 8/15 he would tell HR to hire me and saw no problem with his manager agreeing. I told HR on 8/19 I accepted their offer, then told the lady my status. I planned to go full-time this fall or March 2014 at the latest, but it would be easier for everyone if I started as Linda. I then sent her my FB profile pic and a full-body shot. I next talked with HR on 8/22 and 8/28 after signing their docs. My start date is 9/23/13 in Cincinnati, and I plan to get surgeries in 2014. Accenture is even better on diversity and transition than IBM!

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