Well, that was fun! In our wisdom we decided to promote Priscilla’s Services on Facebook. This is what happened.
Facebook sent me a message last week, saying that for a ridiculously small amount of money I could reach an astounding number of people all within a tiny radius of our business. We were intrigued and decided to use the cute little video advert we made a few months ago to this purpose. The advert is amateur in the extreme but it exists, the advertising was cheap and we thought it got the basic message across. If you want to see the video you can watch it here under the ‘videos’ section (cunning that isn’t it). We also thought: ‘hey, what do we have to lose?’
I proceeded to set about defining the target market for the advert. Given that our target market is closeted transgender/crossdressing people I decided that we would target both men and women aged 25 to 65 (hey you never know how someone identifies on Facebook and we want to make sure we reach everyone who needs us). It occurred to me that we were in fact targeting no-one, so I then decided to add in a few ‘filters’. I went for people interested in ‘Transvestism, Transsexualism, Cross-dressing, LGBT culture, LGBT community, Trans woman, Transgenderism and LGBT social movements’. I believed that this gave us a big enough potential audience without making us too broad a church. I also limited the geographic area to the metropolitan pats of the province of Gauteng. Essentially an area of some 120 kms on the north/south axis by 75 kms on east/west axis.
I entered my budget and pressed ‘go’ (or something approximating ‘go’). I was confident that all would be well. And it was. For a while…
In the main we were very happy with the results. About half the number of people who were ‘reached’ actually viewed the advert for 3 seconds and of those about a third viewed it for 10 seconds. We also got some some shares, a few likes and even some comments. This is where things got interesting…
We received two frankly bizarre comments. Both were from people who felt we were doing ‘Satan’s work’ and that we were contributing to the decline of all things good in the world because we were giving adults a place to dress in private and be themselves without fear of exposure, judgement or suffering abuse. I do not recall the exact wording of either comment (they were rather long and I decided to simply delete them) but the gist was that we were bad people with no morals intent on destroying Jesus and his works and that we needed to repent.
I was amused.
The following occurred to me. These people who claim to follow the teachings of Jesus as reported in The Bible were judging us based on one rather short and badly put together Facebook video advert. They have no idea who we are, what we are doing, why we are doing it, or what our beliefs are. They chose to judge and condemn us outright. Did none of those Sunday school lessons sink in? Whatever happened to turn the other cheek? Did they not read that bit about the being the one who was without sin casting the first stone? What about judging ‘not lest ye be judged’? Clearly these people were so wrapped up with hatred that all they could do was hate, condemn and judge. They didn’t even seek to engage, they just lashed out at us.
I then had a minor epiphany. Why were these people seeing the advert in the first place? Now I know that Facebook’s targeting is far from ideal, but why would a god fearing christian person see my advert that was so clearly aimed at social and sexual deviants such as myself? It occurred to me that the first comment was from the female half of a ‘joint’ husband and wife account. The Facebook account was for Mr and Mrs Smith (or whatever). So why would Mrs Smith have seen this advert that outraged her so? The only explanation I have is that Mr Smith has been ‘trawling for trannies’ whilst Mrs Smith has been making dinner. Clearly there is something in the browser history, the search history or even in Facebook’s data repository that has caused her to see our frightful advert. Perhaps Mrs Smith should look closer to home for her sinners in need of repentance?
The second comment was from a man. I spent less time looking into his account because by now, frankly I was bored with their inanities but on reflection I think he is probably repressing some pretty hectic stuff.
All that I can conclude is that both Mr Smith and the second commenter should make an appointment to meet us. I am sure we can help them understand who and what they are. The second commenter can accept himself, understand himself and find peace. Mr Smith will be able to stop looking for ‘tranny porn’ and can instead understand his gender identity better, spend a few hours a week, month, year or whatever en femme and go back home to Mrs Smith without having had to ‘scratch his itch’ by visiting a transexual or crossdressing prostitute or stealing Mrs Smith’s panties for a few minutes of frenzied ‘self abuse’.
I am glad that we put our advert out there. I just wish that these religious fundamentalists could practice a little more of what they preach and stop hating others for the ‘weaknesses’ that clearly reside within themselves. It is sad that these people give other religious people such a bad name.I personally know a number of very coherent, accepting and tolerant religious people from a number of different faiths. I have met some of them through this very blog. They typically seek to understand that which they do not understand. They realise that we are all unique people and that what is ‘right’ for them may not be ‘right’ for others. I respect these people. They inspire me. I am glad that they have touched my life and I hope I have touched theirs in a positive way too. Those who judge, condemn and hate make others believe it is acceptable to judge without knowing, they drive people away from each other and push people into their entrenched positions.
I wish we could all find one another, find the commonality and indeed love each other for who and what we are. Sure we may not like everything that the other person stands for but I am sure that we will find common ground upon which we can engage with one another. This is a far better basis for society than when we base our interactions on our own projected beliefs of what other people are and what they stand for. We should all seek to love ourselves, then we may find that we love each other as well.