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Luem Aeb roughly translated-'forget to deceive' is the title of an advertizement that ran in Thailand.

Thai Transgender Alliance demand response from IKEA Global on 'negative and stereotypical' advert
22 January 2013 | By Anna Leach

Thai Transgender Alliance have sent an open letter to IKEA to complain about a 'negative and stereotypical' advert.

The offending advert, called Luem Aeb (meaning 'forget to deceive'), was broadcast on Bangkok's sky train system from 28 December 2012 to 13 January 2013 and on YouTube.

'The MTF transgender/transwomen character is openly mocked as being "deceitful",' read the open letter to IKEA from Thai Transgender Alliance.

One of the many problems Transgender people face while in a non supportive culture is the presumption we are deceiving people by presenting in our true gender. I have been told by police officers, "Well you are lying about this I have to assume you are lying about everything else". I'm not lying but there is no way I can do or say anything in those situations. So bad presentation from the title of this ad.

Now I see in this ad actually an attempt to embrace the Transgender community gone terribly wrong.  In using a term like Luem Aeb IKEA was trying to show even the most comfortable Kathoey could lose her composure in their store. Instead of expressing herself as a Transwoman would with by possibly squealing with joy and calling her friends on the phone in an exaggerated manner would have been preferable to actually proposing she would go Butch.

Where IKEA went terribly wrong was when the spouse ran away in fear upon her shopping aggressiveness. This is an example of "Transpanic" The visceral reaction sometimes evidenced in people being made aware they are in the presence of a Transgender person, it manifests itself as a range of reactions from becoming pale to violently murdering Transgender people. In this video the spouse runs away as if his other half is suddenly a danger to him.

Why?

Why is it we have a society that considers someone that is outside gender norms worthy of being socialized to fear them? That is what this is, teaching people that it is appropriate to experience Transpanic whenever one encounters a Transgender person.  And Transpanic usually results in violent reactions so this is very dangerous.

And how was it introduced? Into Thailand one of the few cultures that accepts Transgender people as people. I'm part of an email group that has a member that just had her surgery done there. I wanted to, but it was too much of an adventure for me to try alone. But Thailand is world renowned for their care and treatment of Transgender people.

What IKEA did was try and insert their cultural norms, Transpanic, into the Thai culture. Obviously if you read the link above Thai Transgender Alliance are not going to let this incursion of a dangerous precedent into Thai mainstream. I would hope that we make every effort to let IKEA know we will not support them if the do not make a serous effort to correct the damage already done.

Ms. Pernille Lopez President, IKEA North America Ikea Corporate Office496 West Germantown Pike Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462Telephone: 610-834-0180  pernille.lopez@memo.ikea.com and/or clive.cashman@memo.ikea.com
 

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