Transphobes rage at Dr. Martens after a queer artist drew a trans man on one pair of boots

DIY Docs by Jess Vosseteig

Dr. Martens are facing boycott calls from transphobes who are raging because a queer artist customised a one-off pair of boots with a design celebrating top scars for a giveaway. 

Adding to the ever-growing list of brands transphobes are refusing to use, Dr. Martens has come under fire after commissioning Colorado illustrator Jess Vosseteig to customise a pair of boots. 

Vosseteig, whose prior clients include Lush Cosemtics, Ulta Beauty and Penguin Random House, posted her ‘queer joy’ design on Instagram and said she’s proud of the shoes. 

“I love expressing queer joy in my art and I’m really happy with how I could translate that onto these boots. Now I (and whoever is the giveaway winner) can walk around showing queer pride,” she added. 

Vosseteig’s design, which was created as part of DIY Docs – an initiative that allows people to customise their boots – features rainbows, the trans colours of blue, white and pink, along with an image of a pink trans man with top scars. 

“The inspiration for my design came from representing queer joy! I wanted to include two stylised people that were part of the queer community. I knew I wanted to incorporate lots of colour with rainbows, clouds, and sparkles! I wrote ‘Queer Joy’ on the back of them to send the message that queer joy will always exist,” she said of the design.

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The one-off design was promoted as a giveaway for US residents by the shoe brand on 25 July. 

Only two pairs of boots were reportedly made – one for the competition, and one for Jess to keep.

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A spokesperson for the brand told PinkNews: “This one-off pair is part of a long-standing US social media competition, ‘DIY Docs’, where artists design a single pair to be given away to the community. This pair reflects the artist’s style expression as an illustrator and member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

“We have always embraced diversity in the Dr. Martens community. We’re proud to support our team and our wearers, and to continue to support creativity and freedom of expression.”

But after the contest was posted online by the brand, renowned anti-LGBTQ+ social media accounts took to Twitter to condemned the design for including a drawing of a trans man.

Libs of TikTok is an anti-LGBTQ+ Twitter account, created by Chaya Raichik, known for spreading misinformation

Anti-trans pundit, Oli London, who claims that gender dysphoria is the result of bullying and is possibly best-known for his various plastic surgery procedures to appear like BTS star Jimin, posted on twitter that “cutting off healthy women’s breasts in the name of gender identity should not be promoted”. 

Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice also joined the pile on making wild claims that “removing the healthy breasts of girls should be as alarming as if the amputation of healthy limbs”. 

Despite the bigoted backlash many social media users commented under Vosseteig’s post with words of support and adoration for her design.

“Ohhh they’re so cool I wish they did them internationally,” one comment read, while many others called them “amazing”.

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Under Doc Martens’ post most people commented that they need the design, with one person writing: “Docs but even gayer”.

On Twitter people took to informing the anti-trans pundits that the design is a one-off.

So far, 2023 has seen bigots call to boycott countless brands, with Bud Light, Build-A-Bear and Target being just a few of the companies that have come under fire for either running Pride campaigns or simply featuring LGBTQ+ people as part of their marketing. 

Dr. Martens is unapologetically supportive of the queer community and celebrates Pride annually with a collection of queer-inspired boots, with money being donated to The Trevor Project – a charity focused on suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ youth. 

Its website states: “Pride is a year-long celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community.” 

PinkNews contacted Jess Vosseteig for comment. 

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