Today, Barneys introduced its spring 2014 campaign. It's titled "Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters," and it stars seventeen transgender models photographed in black and white by Bruce Weber.
Dennis Freeman, who came up with the campaign idea, says that his goal is to create awareness of the trans* community, which has remained marginalized even as gay men and lesbians gain mainstream acceptance: "I was exquisitely aware that in the last decade, the L.G.B. communities have made extraordinary advances, and the transgender community has not shared in that progress," he told the New York Times. It's true — even as transgender people gain visibility, the way in which the media tends to cover trans* issues ranges from ignorant to utterly deplorable. In the past month alone, we've seen both ends of that spectrum: Katie Couric thought it was acceptable to ask Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera deeply invasive questions about their genitals on live TV, and Grantland ran a story that may have contributed to the suicide of a transgender woman, in which the author posthumously outed her. Grantland's editor reportedly ran it by 13-15 people without consulting a single transgender person.