WINNIPEG — A debate has begun in Winnipeg over a new Caitlyn Jenner costume on sale in the city for Halloween this year.
One transgender advocate argues it could be offensive while the company that makes the costume says they are "celebrating an American icon."
On its website, U.S.-based Spirit Halloween shows the costume as being a simple long red wig and a cream-coloured corset, the same outfit the reality TV star and former Olympian wore on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine earlier this year.
It lists the costume as being for adult women, and pairs it with a men's costume that mimics Jenner's track suit from the 1976 Olympics.
Shandi Strong, advocacy coordinator with Pride Winnipeg, says she fears it is "just an excuse for some beer-swilling dude to put on a dress and say, ‘hey, look at me, I’m a tranny.' "
"A transwoman is not a man in a dress," says Strong, who says her own journey to becoming a woman has taken 15 years. "We are someone struggling with our inner femininity to be who we are."
Spirit Halloween says they create a wide range of costumes that are sometimes based on celebrities, public figures, heroes and superheroes, and says Jenner "is all of the above."
Strong concedes some people may choose the costume with good intent.
"If someone is going to wear it to say, `OK, Caitlyn is my hero…I'm going to support the trans community,' by all means," she says.
Spirit Halloween won't disclose figures but says the costume is selling very well.
The Canadian Press