Transgender Law Center Kicks Off Campaign to Discourage Homophobic, Racist Halloween Costumes

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The Transgender Law Center hopes you’ll be classy, like these ladies, this Halloween.

Halloween: It’s the spookiest night of the year, but sometimes the fun and games can can turn downright ugly. With that in mind, the Transgender Law Center is hoping that individuals will think twice before they don what may be perceived as offensive costumes on October 31.

The Center, which advocates for policy and law changes to support all gender identities and expressions, has started a campaign aptly titled “Discrimination is Scary,” that discourages folks from wearing Halloween costumes that could be perceived as sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or ableist this October.

The Transgender Law Center's Halloween Pledge.

The Transgender Law Center’s Halloween Pledge.

“I wish I could say I was surprised that people to this day still don’t understand that races and cultures aren’t a ‘costume,'” says Facebook user Letters Barba, who signed on to take the pledge. “It’s incredibly disrespectful to those who can’t ‘take off the costume’ every other day of the year, and it casually perpetuates racist tropes. It is ignorant to say the very least.”

These types of insulting costumes were brought into the spotlight last Halloween, when Dancing With the Stars dancer Julianne Hough was sharply criticized after she dressed in blackface as “Crazy Eyes” from Orange is the New Black. Transgender activist and actress Laverne Cox later commented on Hough’s costume choice to U.S. Weekly:

“I thought it was a shame that she is in this country, that she would wear blackface and not understand the historical implications of that. I don’t think Julianne is making a specific informed choice to comment on blackness. I just think it’s out of this ignorance. That’s really sad.”

Hopefully, with the raised awareness via the Transgender Law Center, costumes, like Hough’s, won’t be a regular occurrence this season—or any other going forward. Come on, people!