Yatra dot com is a travel website geared toward Indians who live abroad and visit home every so often. Yatra is a Hindi word meaning, literally, travel. So they thought they were being oh-so-clever when the released this ad, running on Zee TV, among other things. In it, all goes well, until this Indian lady visiting home from the west is disgusted to find out that her cousin, Kamal, has turned into Kamala, a transgender. The ad then ends with the message "Visit home more often." Hehe. Haha. Soooo funny! Yay! They made a funny ad at the expense of one of the most persecuted communities in the world, certainly in India, transgendered people. Wait. That's not funny. That's insensitive at best. That sucks. My outrage was expressed in my comment on the ad's Youtube page and in an email I sent them: My Comment on YouTube:
Yes. Funny! Hilarious! Wait. What if a member of your family was transgendered? Why is it ok to make fun of transpeople or lesbians, gays or bisexuals in the Indian community - which I might add is my community? Would this ad have still been funny if instead of becoming Kamala, a Hindu Kamal became a Muslim Kabir? Yeah, I didn't think so.My Email to Yatra.com
To Whom It May Concern: I am writing with reference to the following ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75nkocSxyeo As an Indian-American, I am appalled that your ad stereotypes, pokes fun at, and marginalized not just the Indian transgender community, but also the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities across this globe. You may think it's funny, but in the 21st century, it is no longer acceptable to laugh at the struggles our communities live through, not to mention the threats to our lives in many parts of the world, including in India. The dignity of all people should be respected in your advertisements - regardless of their gender, race, color, creed, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. So I urge you to take down that ad as soon as possible and issue a statement of apology to the affected communities. Open up your site and your services to people of all types and backgrounds. I am certain that you can come up with amusing advertisement without offending disenfranchised communities.That's it, that's all I have to say about it. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, too. Thank you.
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