Petition to Erica Chan, Talent , Press , Do Won Chang
Raise Awareness for Transgender Models in Forever 21
We are a group of high school students hoping to take a stand on the lack of transgender representation in media. As many transgender youth are forced out of their homes due to lack of acceptance in their families, we believe that it is necessary for major companies, such as Forever 21, to promote transgender models in their advertisements. This is so that young transgender kids, as well as their parents, can feel comfortable seeing people who may not fit into the box our society attempts to build around them. Marketing and advertisement is ingrained in America's DNA; we need to see trans faces in our advertisements in order to normalize the fact that gender and gender expression isn't limited to a binary structure anymore. One in 137 teenagers identify as transgender, and there are over 1.4 million trans adults in the USA (2/23/17 New York Times). Representation for minorities matters, especially for a group as vilified as transgender people. Around 40% of both trans men and women have attempted suicide in their lives, and the most surprising thing is that the statistics continue through every demographic and background. Trans people clearly aren’t getting the support they need in order to understand that their identity is valid and can be supported (1/2014 The Williams Institute). Due to the fact that transgender people don’t have media attention or support, trans youth face discrimination in employment, housing agencies, medical providers and in the military. In fact, transgender youth are four times more likely to have an income of less than $10,000 per year (1/22/15 The Washington Post). Even as adults, 64% of transgender people make less than $25,000 per year (07/21/2015 The Huffington Post) Additionally, transgender youth are two times more likely to be unemployed (1/22/15 The Washington Post). Paul Guequierre from the Human Rights Campaign states that: “Recent CAP polling shows that 73% of voters support protecting transgender people from discrimination in employment. Despite this strong public support, no federal law provides explicit legal protections for transgender workers based on gender identity/expression—and only 17 states and the District of Columbia offer these protections. As a result, transgender workers face higher rates of unemployment and are at greater risk of poverty” (9/6/13 Human Rights Campaign). All these statistics clearly show a lack of economic, emotional, and job support for the transgender community. Not only would trans models be beneficial to transgender people, but it would also help Forever 21. For instance, Vanessa Sheridan from The Huffington Post wrote that companies would able to enlist and retain top talent. Additionally, Forever 21 could “lessen the risk and expense of legal action relative to transgender discrimination claims.” (7/22/13 The Huffington Post). This means that Forever 21 would be safe from legal action and media attention against the company if it becomes more inclusive. Incorporating trans models would also “position a company (especially from a marketing perspective) as a diversity leader within its industry, the larger business community, and society in general.” (7/22/13 The Huffington Post). Lastly, making Forever 21 a trans-inclusive business would “increase the influence of internal branding on the company’s employees, which is often the result of effective, inclusive organizational policies that impact the well-being of all employees.” (7/22/13 The Huffington Post). Therefore, it is imperative that Forever 21 includes trans models in order to benefit both the trans community and the company. We know media attention for trans people won’t fix everything, but we also understand that representation and support from influential corporations can help. Letting young children and parents see trans people even if in a magazine or poster in a mall would help normalize trans youth and reinforce the idea that gender isn’t binary. As many transgender youth are forced out of their homes due to lack of acceptance in their families, we believe that it is necessary for major corporations/companies to promote trans models in their advertisements so that young transgender kids as well as their parents understand and see that gender expression isn’t limited to a binary structure anymore. Therefore, we petition you, Forever 21, to end your track record of transphobic discrimination and accept transgender models. Links to our other social media: Website Instagram
Petition to Netflix
Remove Netflix show "13 Reasons Why"
Suicide is a very serious and final decision that people make when they feel they are out of options and out of hope, there are many times in life when people are at higher risk for attempting suicide and we (society in general, schools, family, churches etc.) need to be careful and educated about how to best address this issue. The popular Netflix TV show "13 Reasons Why" is based off a short novel and graphically depicts a 17-year-old female taking her life after being bullied, slut-shamed, and sexually assaulted. This show glamorizes and graphically shows a completed suicide in high definition and the girl blames her classmates for her suicide and it seemingly tells the tale that there are justified reasons to end your life. I've been prompted to start this petition because I've seen too many copycat suicide attempts and completed suicides wherein they write or talk about 13 Reasons Why. Over the last few weeks all adolescent psychiatric hospitals in Utah have been at capacity, and teenagers are in emergency rooms waiting for a place in treatment to become available. As an admissions director in one of these hospitals I have spoken to adolescents and adults who were triggered by this TV show for the suicide content, bullying content, and sexual assault scenes. I have talked to parents and other family members who are becoming secondary survivors of attempted suicide, who feel at a loss for what to do and where to get help. The TV show does not explain that there are multiple ways to get help and treatment for mental health issues, it does not prompt a safe and educated conversation about suicide and suicide prevention, it does not offer phone numbers of places to call if you are suicidal (1800-suicide is a good one), and one of the biggest issues is it does not address the finality of death. This is the story of a girl who is dead and she gets her "revenge" and "justice" by the spreading of her recorded tapes. However, once you are dead and once you have committed suicide, you are not around to watch the fall-out, you are not around to watch your funeral or your family or you school grieve, you are gone. 13 Reasons Why hits home to many adolescents but does not properly explain that once you are gone and there is no coming back. Ultimately I would like to see this TV show removed from Netflix and for an apology from the creators for triggering so many attempted and completed suicides. I would also like a statement about how to properly discuss suicide, resources for those struggling and their families, and resources for post-suicide help for the survivors. At the very least I would like to see information about suicide prevention and hotline phone numbers that people can call if they feel hopeless at the beginning and end of every episode, and a spoken warning from Netflix that this TV show is graphic and an extreme caution is given to anyone who is not in a safe place or struggles with depression.
Petition to National Eating Disorders, World Health Organization, Wald Center, Alliance for Eating Disorders
The Perfect Body is Unreal—Eat Proper Meals!
As seen on the media—whether it be on television, movies, or even on your morning newspaper—there are various models and celebrities in different stages of fit and fab. Their bodies are usually toned, lean to the bone, and curvaceous; they wear different clothes that flaunt these features, showcasing to their audience the result of their hard work in the gym. The media itself, meanwhile, advertises these kinds of bodies, telling their viewers that this is the body you should have, and that this is the body that is correct, ideal, and perfect. A sad fact among its viewers is that they actually believe that this is true, that in order to achieve the perfect body, one should look like their idolised celebrity. And since time is ticking and one's wallet may not probably be enough for a gym membership card, one may stick to reducing the amount of food he/she eats, if he/she bothers to eat at all. This is where various eating disorders emerge, born from the want to look like what the media pictures as the perfect body. Well, those are not true at all. There is no perfect body. Eating three peas a day will not lead you to the non-existent perfect body. Skipping meals and eating once a day will not lead you to the non-existent perfect body. Vomiting after you eat (or commonly known as Bulimia) will not lead you to the non-existent perfect body. And, most especially, not eating for a day or so with the logic that you would not be eating any sort of fat does not lead you to the non-existent perfect body! This petition aims to send a message to all people—children, teenagers, and adults—that not eating properly does not equal to a perfect body. One should eat three proper meals a day, maybe even include a burger if you feel like eating one, and stay healthy and happy.
Petition to Lee Enterprises
Make the Pantagraph comments section public or discontinue it.
As readers and subscribers of the Pantagraph, we are concerned about the tone and misinformation in the comments in The Pantagraph. As we look for increasing levels of journalistic integrity from our media sources, we find it imperative that there is a level of discourse fitting our community. Unfortunately a few players are involved in spreading hateful messages of misinformation and commentary that is not in keeping with the pride that the rest of us show for our community. In making the comments public, and possibly only open to registered subscribers (as one means of achieving this, and a potential way to gain subscribers), commenters would be held publicly accountable for their speech. This would serve the additional purpose from a journalistic integrity standpoint of allowing readers to see who the stakeholders are and what they have to gain by making the comments that are made. Additionally, persons with multiple accounts could potentially be eliminated. Requiring actual names and verifiable contact information would make commenting consistent with requirements for publishing a letter to the editor. Should comments be discontinued altogether, which we also find to be a reasonable solution given the circumstances, opinions can be expressed through letters to the editor and sharing on personal pages or blogs. Sharing of Pantagraph articles on personal pages should achieve additional readership and interest. As community members interested in building a community based on truth, transparency and kindness, we implore Lee Enterprises to consider our request.