There’s been a lot of talk nationally about both the transgender community and political correctness in humor, though not necessarily in conjunction. But at the middle of their local Venn diagram is a bar in the southeastern part of the Valley. Passersby can’t miss its readerboard, which at press time read: “Caitlyn Jenner Toilet Seat Up or Down.”
If the former Olympian says she’s a woman, then that’s what she is, regardless of her male sex organs. Could she in theory use the toilet standing up? Sure, but the bar’s question is clearly—and offensively—rhetorical.
The bar first tasted infamy when it posted to the sign that the “Broncos couldn’t beat the sick kids at St. Jude.” Internet outcry followed, and the bar took it down. But later, a subsequent missive—“Ray Rice new bouncer on ladies night …” that referenced the former Baltimore Ravens player caught punching his then-fiancée in the face—proved the bar was fishing for attention, just as it is with the Jenner jab. (As such, the Weekly is not naming the bar.)
We’ve all laughed at put-downs, and comedians like Jerry Seinfeld have a point about PC hypersensitivity. In this case, however, the bar is targeting a group that’s too often the butt of the joke—and worse. Trans folks experience distressingly high rates of suicide, violence, family rejection, financial destitution and job discrimination. And despite recent legislative and cultural victories, online commenters and talking heads—and now desperate business owners—are jumping at the chance to mock them. We should jump at the chance to drink and gamble elsewhere, and let bar proprietors know that such gimmicks are no laughing matter.