Transsexual pop star Harisu from Korea has agreed to appear in television and magazine ads for a feminine hygiene product beginning next month, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported.
The singer will promote sanitary napkins made by the Taiwanese company UFT. The products incorporate a new technology that is also designed to prevent menstrual cramps.
In Asia, male stars have appeared in commercials for sanitary pads, but transgender people have never before appeared in such feminine hygiene ads, the newspaper reported.
Gwen Smith, a U.S. board member of FTM International, an educational organization serving transgender people, hailed the news as a sign of progress.
"If anything it shows a potential level of acceptance that Harisu is indeed accepted as a woman. For her to do an advertisement for such a product also shows that the advertisers and public do respect who she is, and are willing to have her represent their product," Smith told the Gay.com/PlanetOut.com Network.
"I don't think you would see such a thing in the United States in anything short of a comedic or ironic fashion," she added.
Harisu's latest single is titled "Foxy Lady," and she is touring the United States. She was recently named "Korean Artist We'd Most Like to See" by the Los Angeles Korean Chamber of Commerce, Chosun Ilbo reported.