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Calvin Klein Hit With Criticism Over Pregnant Transgender Man Campaign

by : Aisha Nozari on :
Calvin Klein Hit With Criticism Over Pregnant Transgender Man Campaign
Calvin Klein Hit With Criticism Over Pregnant Transgender Man Campaign (Calvin Klein)

People have hit out at Calvin Klein’s Mother’s Day campaign, which featured a pregnant transgender man.

Despite pregnancy being increasingly common among transgender men, some of the underwear brand’s 22 million Instagram followers made it their mission to regurgitate outdated transphobic rhetoric in the comment section, which seems like a strange way to spend one’s time. 

Alongside a social media post showcasing campaign imagery, Calvin Klein wrote: “​​Today, in support of women and mothers all over the world, we’re spotlighting the realities of new families.”

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The caption also noted: “Roberto is due to give birth to his and Erika’s son Noah any day now.”

Transphobic comments quickly piled up beneath the post, with some noting they would ‘never buy from the brand again’.

Many misinformed comments along the lines of ‘men can’t get pregnant’ and ‘women give birth not men’ were also scattered beneath the post, as were calls for people to ‘unfollow’ the brand.

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But not all comments were quite as ill informed, with one social media user raising a valid point and targeting the brand in a different way when they wrote: “Meanwhile your clothing and products are made in countries where people in the LGBT community would be punished or killed by the laws they uphold.”

Another echoed: “Have you halted production in countries where there are no LGBTQ rights yet?”

Calvin Klein took to the comment section with its own statement, writing: “We embrace this platform as an inclusive and respectful environment for individualism and self-expression. At Calvin Klein, we tolerate everything except intolerance— any intolerant commentary will be removed, and any accounts issuing hateful statements may be blocked. 

“We look forward to continuing a positive and inclusive dialogue in partnership with our community.”

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The brand issued a statement. Credit: Instagram.com/CalvinKlein
The brand issued a statement. Credit: Instagram.com/CalvinKlein

PVH, Calvin Klein’s parent brand, has employees positioned in countries including Malaysia and Sri Lanka, where people in same-sex relationships can still face prison time as noted in journalist Lyric Fergusson’s guide to the worst and safest countries for LGBT travellers. 

However, sustainable fashion website Good On You noted last year that Calvin Klein’s environmental impact score had risen, meaning the brand is ‘making a start for people and the planet’.

Good On You’s report into Calvin Klein’s labour conditions determined: “Some of its supply chain is certified by FLA Workplace Code of Conduct including all of the final stage of production, and it received a score of 51-60 percent in the Fashion Transparency Index

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“We have to commend the brand for its transparency, as it likely publishes detailed information about its supplier policies, audits, and remediation processes, as well as a detailed list of suppliers in the final stage of production.”

UNILAD has approached Calvin Klein for comment.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers 

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