Earlier this week, KISS vocalist Paul Stanley shared his thoughts on gender-affirming care for minors in a social media post that generated some divisive feedback. Now the singer has checked back in on social media, issuing a new statement after realizing that his words were not being clearly construed in the manner in which he intended.
In his initial April 30 post under the heading “My Thoughts on What I’m Seeing,” the KISS rocker shared what he believed to be a “sad and dangerous fad” where parents’ support of their young children’s transitions were not allowing for the option of the child coming to a sexual identity decision on their own once they reached an age where sexuality and sexual experience had more context.
The KISS vocalist stated, “There is a BIG difference between teaching acceptance and normalizing and even encouraging participation in a lifestyle that confuses young children into questioning their sexual identification as though some sort of game and then parents in some cases allow it.”
He continued, “There ARE individuals who as adults may decide reassignment is their needed choice but turning this into a game or parents normalizing it as some sort of natural alternative or believing that because a little boy likes to play dress up in his sister’s clothes or a girl in her brother’s, we should lead them … down a path that’s far from the innocence of what they are doing.”
“Children who have no real sense of sexuality or sexual experiences [get] caught up in the ‘fun’ of using pronouns and saying what they identify, as some adults mistakenly confuse teaching acceptance with normalizing and encouraging a situation that has been a struggle for those truly affected and [has] turned it into a sad and dangerous fad,” added Stanley at the time.
The post yielded plenty of sentiment both supporting Stanley’s initial commentary and others calling out the transphobic nature of the singer’s words. One particular article, penned by the parents of trans children, dissected some of the points that they felt the singer had gotten wrong in his statement.
In the aftermath, the singer has returned to Twitter with a new statement. It reads as follows:
While my thoughts were clear, my words clearly were not.
Most importantly and above all else, I support those struggling with their sexual identity while enduring constant hostility and those whose path leads them to reassignment surgery. It’s hard to fathom the kind of conviction that one must feel to take those steps.
A paragraph or two will remain far too short to fully convey my thoughts or point of view, so I will leave that for another time and place.
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How Did Social Media Respond to Stanley’s Latest Statement?
Most of the comments on the Stanley statement seemed to support the singer, although many suggested that he was only making it due to the backlash over his original comments and urging him not to back down from his original statement.
Others agreed with Stanley’s assessment that the character and contextual limitations of social media don’t lend themselves to a thoroughly discussed and nuanced topic. One follower wrote, “I have family and friends in the trans community… their struggle is very real… we can all agree that more education and compassion are needed for and from all of us… way more complex than 140 characters.”
Another added, “Rock on! I get why you need to clarify this. In todays environment people could take your words out of context for their political agenda and run with it then it snowballs!”
See a sampling of the reactions to Stanley’s latest posting below:
The Fallout From Paul Stanley’s Original Commentary
Earlier today, the fallout from Stanley’s initial commentary yielded results for another rocker, Twisted Sister‘s Dee Snider. According to a press release, Snider was supposedly about to be named as a performer at this year’s SF Pride Parade in San Francisco with “We’re Not Gonna Take It” being adopted as the unofficial rallying cry of this year’s parade.
But Snider recently commented on Stanley’s discussion about gender affirmation for youths by stating, “You know what? There was a time where I ‘felt pretty’ too. Glad my parents didn’t jump to any rash conclusions! Well said, @PaulStanleyLive.”
“When we were notified about the tweet in which Dee expressed support for Kiss’s Paul Stanley’s transphobic statement, we were heartbroken and angry,” said SF Pride in their press release distancing themselves from Snider. “The message perpetuated by that tweet casts doubt on young trans people’s ability to self-identify their gender.”.
“Transgender people, particularly transgender women and children of color, are disproportionately affected by hate and violence. And with transphobia proliferating and becoming more and more enshrined in law throughout the country — we have to stand up for the most impacted among us,” they added.
So while Snider was in line to be part of the 2023 SF Pride celebration, the organization revealed, “We have mutually agreed to part ways, but appreciate Dee seeing this as a teachable moment and a reminder that even allies need to be educated to ensure that they are not casually promoting transphobia. To all our allies — we want to call you in — not call you out.”
Though it appears through his most recent comments that he’s not done with the topic, Stanley did attempt to provide some context and show support for the trans community and if he were to speak about it again, he would likely do so utilizing a platform for a more nuanced discussion. Stanley is currently touring with KISS as part of their “End of the Road” farewell tour. Get your tickets here.
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What were they thinking?!