Did Silverman's 'vagina tax' video miss the mark?

sarah silverman equal pay
The transgender community is not amused by Sarah Silverman's joke that the wage gap is so bad she's getting a sex change.

Comedian Sarah Silverman announced in a new NSFW video that she's giving up her boobs and getting a penis.

She argues that it is cheaper to become a man than wait to close the $11,000 annual wage gap that exists between men and women.

The video was meant to be provocative. But Silverman's solution, while a joke, would make her part of the transgender community, which endures its own wage gap and experiences workplace discrimination and harassment.

Some LGBT advocates and activists aren't laughing.

"The piece speaks about very legitimate issues in a very unfortunate way," said Jodi Jacobson, president of RH Reality Check, an organization that tackles sexual and reproductive health and justice issues.

Related: I'm transgender and struggling to get by

Janet Mock, a prominent voice in the transgender community, tweeted, "Campaign is necessary, but maybe they could've done it without throwing trans folks under the bus."

GLAAD, a media advocacy organization for the LGBT community, said the video "missed the mark." While the fight for equal pay continues, "let's acknowledge that for transgender people, the workplace is usually a very hostile environment." As GLAAD noted, you can be fired in 32 states for being transgender.

For some who argue that the video was just a joke, Jacobson said, "This was social messaging in comedy. That's a very different thing and has a very different yard stick."

Related: Transgender job seekers face uphill battle

Transgender men and women also experience double the rate of unemployment as nearly everyone else and are four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000 per year compared to the general population, according to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey.

Silverman's video was produced for the Equal Payback Project and in partnership with the National Women's Law Center, which advocates for equal pay and has supported LGBT causes.

The center released a statement Thursday in response to the backlash, saying, "The Equal Payback Project uses Silverman's brand of absurd humor to draw attention to this ludicrous situation -- it was not our intent to make light of the serious issues transgender people face."

The center's co-president Marcia Greenberger told CNNMoney the controversy has been a good thing.

"It's our job [the campaign] works in a positive way for the full community," she said. The center will use some of the resources raised by the project to benefit transgender men and women.

Related: Sarah Silverman is tired of the 'vagina tax'

A 2008 study by researchers at the University of Chicago and New York University analyzed the effects of transitioning on wages. It found that earnings actually ticked up for female-to-male transgender workers while earnings for male-to-female transgender workers fell by nearly one-third.

"By living as a woman they can face the sexism that's in the economy and in the workplace and that can lead to lower wages," said Tico Almeida, president of Freedom to Work, an organization that works to ban discrimination against LGBT workers.

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