I had the delight of seeing my new gay friend S again this past weekend. He was the one I mentioned in my article about being a Christian Sex Toy Lady. As I said then, I love how doing this business has brought me in to contact with so many different types of people and perspectives.
Pure Romance’s Updated Transgender Policy
S was equally glad to see me and happy to hear about Pure Romance’s updated policy addressing trangender women. I wrote about our previous policy about a year ago and expressed concern about the “gender on the driver’s license” benchmark that was commonly suggested. Finally, at the beginning of this year, corporate introduced an more inclusive policy on this issue. It states (among other things):
Pure Romance Consultants should aim to create an inclusive trans-friendly culture and environment at parties, where all transgender people are treated with dignity and respect in the gender in which they choose to present themselves irrespective of their legal sex.
Complete policy is posted at the end of this article.
When this new policy was released, I was immediately contacted by several consultants who knew that this topic was particularly close my heart. I was very proud of the company for taking this step toward inclusion and also that people thought of me right away when they heard. It’s still sort of startling to me to be known for my sex positive stances in a company of tens of thousands of women already selling sex toys. I’ll take it though and still campaign for more.
The Acquisition of Passion Parties and the Future of Gender Exclusive Demonstrations
Big news for our company this winter was the acquisition of Passion Parties as announced on January 11th. While it felt a little thrilling to know that Pure Romance now owned its biggest competitor, I felt a pang for the Passion Parties consultants. While they would have the option to transition to Pure Romance, I could only imagine the grief of losing the PP identity. It wasn’t until I watched a “Townhall” style meeting between our founder and our CEO and some Passion Parties consultants that I realized just how much of their identity would be changing.
Passion Parties was based out of Las Vegas and Calgary which are fairly sexual progressive cities* and the party and consultant policies of the company reflected that. Not only did they allow parties coed and all male parties, they also had male consultants. Though the 2016 Pure Romance policies included the above mentioned transgender clause, our consultants are still all female (or female identifying) and our party demos are women only. The male Passion Parties consultants did not have the option of grandfathering into Pure Romance like their female counterparts.
Understandably, many Passion Parties consultants, male and female, were dismayed by what was termed “a lack of diversity” in their new company, enough so that it was a major factor in the decision by some consultants not to transfer to Pure Romance. I understand their feelings and while I have no intention of leaving Pure Romance over its current “women only” consultant and party policy, I do find myself wondering how sustainable it will be in the future. Our society moving away from basis in heteronormativity at a speedy rate. It’s not as simple as man or woman anymore.
Surrounding Ourselves with the Right Information
During the townhall, Pure Romance’s founder and our CEO were pressed more than once on the diversity topic and I really appreciated Patty Brisben’s answer. “We need to make sure we’ve surrounded ourselves with the right information,” before deciding how to proceed she said. “We’re just asking for time.”
To many who have been waging this campaign for equality for years, it may seem like every decision is way past time, but I have become more and more impressed with Pure Romance’s thoughtful and unhurried decision making. When you make a change, especially when talking about a major policy shift, HOW you do it, is just as important as WHAT you are doing.
I think in this case, it’s worth the wait.
And I am very proud of my company and its leadership. I’m proud to call former Passion Parties consultants my new sisters. Most of all, I’m proud to be able to witness these changes.
Please comment with your thoughts on this topic. I would love to hear them.
From the Pure Romance 2016 Incentives Requirements Guide
3.4 Supporting the LGBT Community
Sadly, people around the world face violence and inequality – sometimes torture, even execution – because of who they love, how they look, or who they are. It is the belief of Pure Romance that sexual orientation and gender identity are integral aspects of ourselves and should never lead to discrimination, bullying, or abuse.
Pure Romance continues to be a strong supporter of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBT) communities by helping to empower people to lead healthy and successful lives while building stronger relationships. Consultants are expected to do the same through their efforts to educate and openly offering product to interested adults. Consultants are also expected to deal with such matters with the utmost sensitivity and confidentiality.
3.5 Transgender Attending Parties
Pure Romance has maintained a long-standing policy of providing women a safe place to shop and learn by reserving parties for adult females of at least 18 years old. While maintaining our policy, Pure Romance aims to give support and understanding to those individuals who wish to take, or have taken steps, to present themselves in a gender different to the gender assigned at birth. Pure Romance recognizes that this period of transition can be very complex and difficult for the individual, and wishes to act in a supportive and sensitive way. Pure Romance Consultants should aim to create an inclusive trans-friendly culture and environment at parties, where all transgender people are treated with dignity and respect in the gender in which they choose to present themselves irrespective of their legal sex.
For the purposes of this policy, Transgender is used to refer to the following:
- A person proposing to undergo, is undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex.
- People who do not wish to transition permanently to a new gender role, but who identify as genderqueer, gender variant or intersex or who choose to live permanently with a more fluid gender identify.
Currently all jurisdictions in the United States only recognize the two biological sexes of male and female and grant certain rights based on those sexes. Classifying a person’s sex as male or female is left to the jurisdiction of the states. As is the case throughout the world, the degree to which a given state recognizes a transgender person as his or her desired sex varies and is dependent on factors such as the steps the person has taken in their transition, such as psychological therapy, hormone therapy, and sex reassignment surgery. Pure Romance acknowledges that many transgender people, particularly transsexuals, have or are seeking to establish a permanent identity as the sex opposite the sex, which they were assigned at birth. While non-binary (genderqueer) transgender people may or may not seek legal recognition of a gender identity other than that indicated by their birth sex. This means a simple check of state identification to verify sex cannot be used for purposes of determining attendance at a party.
Should a Transgender individual who identifies as female wish to attend a party, Consultants are to allow the individual to attend. Pure Romance Pure Romance 2016 Incentive Requirements Guide 8 expects that allowing Consultants to be respectful while handling requests to attend parties from a Transgender individual, is not meant to alter our long-standing policy of reserving parties for adult females of at least 18 years old as a whole. We ask that this policy not be abused for purposes of justifying behavior against our core policies (i.e., justification of couples parties or continually allowing men to be present).
Should a Consultant believe she does not have the proper training or is ill equipped to handle a given situation, she should contact the corporate office for support. A Consultant may also ask to have a party reassigned to a qualified Consultant upon her request.
Transgender individuals wishing to become a Consultant with Pure Romance must contact the corporate office. Additional verification will be required before purchasing a Starter Kit. Pure Romance reserves the right to refuse the request for a kit purchase at its discretion.
*Previous version of this article incorrectly cited San Francisco as Passion Parties headquarters.