Justice

People Are Furious About TIME's Rainbow Toilet Paper Cover For A Surprising Reason

May 24th 2016

By:
Laura Donovan

TIME recently shared its cover story on trans bathroom panic, and the response from Twitter was not good, to say the least.

The cover features a row of rainbow toilet paper rolls to highlight the nationwide debate surrounding trans bathroom rights.

Critics say the cover say it misrepresents the issue.

Some have said it would have been more appropriate for the publication to use the trans flag for this story to avoid confusing trans issues with issues specifically facing the gay community:

A Twitter user and recording engineer named Laura Dean "corrected" the cover to reflect the trans flag:

This controversy comes roughly two years after actress Laverne Cox became the first openly trans person to appear on the cover of TIME:

Advocates have warned against lumping trans issues and issues facing the gay community into the same category.

In 2014, HIV Plus Magazine editor Tyler Curry wrote in a Huffington Post piece that trans people and gay people have different needs and concerns:

"In the beginning of the gay rights movement, the battle against violence, outright discrimination and blatant intolerance was one that gays, bisexuals and transgender men and women were equally invested in. But now, the concerns of gay men and lesbians have shifted to such things as marriage equality and employment discrimination. Although transgender men and women also share in these inequalities, they are subjected to many more injustices that fail to gain hardly any mainstream support."

Tyler Curry Twitter

He added that expecting the LGBT movement to serve these two very different communities is unrealistic:

"There is a difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, and it can’t be expected that one movement will equally serve both groups. However, gays and transgender individuals both share in the effects of being misunderstood. So, as gay men and women, we don’t fully need to understand being transgender to be able to whole-heartedly support that cause."

Susan Stryker, an associate professor of gender and women's studies and the director of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona, shared a similar sentiment in a 2014 New York Times piece.

"The 'T.' has thus had a fraught relationship with 'L.G.B.,' never more so than in 2007, when a gay congressman, Barney Frank, stripped protections for transgender people from the proposed federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act," Stryker wrote. "That was a divisive, short-sighted move that put Frank on the wrong side of history. After that slap, I and many others concentrated primarily on trans-specific issues, while welcoming any and all allies."

[H/T BuzzFeed]

RELATED: This Adorable Comic Nails Exactly What to Do If a Trans Person Is in the Bathroom With You