The Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Resource Center at Texas A&M University is helping students choose just the right Halloween costume this year — all revelers have to do is follow a handy-dandy flowchart titled, “Is My Costume Culturally Insensitive?”
The flowchart begins with a subtitle reminding students that “Freedom of Speech Does Not Mean Free [sic] From Responsibility” and then launches into a series of questions:
- “Is the costume supposed to be funny?”
- “Is the humor based on making fun of real people, human traits, or cultural communities?”
- “Does the costume represent a culture or community that is not my own?”
- “Does the costume reduce cultural difference to jokes or stereotypes?”
- “Do the costumes being used have packaging that include the words ‘traditional’, ‘ethnic’, ‘colonial,’ ‘authentic’, or ‘tribal’?”
- “Does the costume perpetuate stereotypes, misinformation, or historical and cultural inaccuracies?”
If any answer to any question is “yes” — save for “Is the costume supposed to be funny?” — the flowchart instructs revelers, “Best to find a new costume.” But if they make it through the chart unscathed, the answer finally is a hearty, “You are good to go!”
A magazine run by Ohio State University students offered a similar flowchart this month, although it gave a total green light to costumes that make fun of Republican President Donald Trump.
Campus Reform said it reached out to the Texas A&M GLBT Resource Center and related campus groups for comment but didn’t get a response in time for publication.