Singer Macy Gray and actress Bette Midler have come under fire on social media for recent comments deemed by many to be transphobic.
Social media users have likened their political commentary to that of feminists who oppose transgender inclusionary language and policies, who are colloquially referred to as Transexclusive Radical Feminists or “TERFs”.
Gray appeared on “Piers Morgan Uncensored” Monday, where she and the host discussed patriotism, representation and identity. The latter topic sparked controversy when host Morgan prompted Gray to define a woman.
“I’ll say this and everyone will hate me, but as a woman, just because you change parts (of your body) doesn’t mean you’re a woman,” Gray said. “If you want me to call you ‘her’, I will, because that’s what you want.” But that doesn’t make you a woman just because I called you “her” and just because you had surgery.
Gray continued, “Being a little girl is an entire epic, you know? And you can’t have that just because you want to be a woman.
Gray’s statement aligns with that of JK Rowling, another public figure who has come under fire for her comments about the transgender community. The author expressed his support for Gray after some social media users called for Gray’s career to end. Rowling said in a Tweeter“Today is a good day to make sure I’ve bought all of @MacyGraysLife’s back catalog.”
Gray walked back his comments in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, saying, “I have nothing but love for the LGBTQ+ and transgender community and have been a supporter since day one. My statement on Piers Morgan has been grossly misunderstood. I don’t hate anyone. I respect everyone’s right to feel good in their body and to live their own truth.
Meanwhile, Midler tweeted Monday, “WOMEN OF THE WORLD! We are stripped of our rights to our bodies, our lives and even our name! They don’t call us “women” anymore.
Midler’s tweet was in response to a New York Times opinion piece.
The actress followed up on her tweet the next day, saying on Twitter, “There was no intention of exclusion or transphobia in what I said; it wasn’t about that.
She continued, “But seriously folks, if anyone reading this tweet thinks I have anything other than love for marginalized people, go to Wikipedia and type in my name. … I have fought for the marginalized for as long as I can remember.Yet if you want to dismiss my 60 years of proven love and concern over a tweet that accidentally irritated the people I’ve always supported and adored , so be it.
Midler’s rise to fame included performances at the Continental Baths at Hotel Ansonia. The New York City Bathhouse was a gay club and was created to provide a safe space for gay men to socialize in the 1960s and 1970s, according to the New York City LGBT Historic Sites Project. She has been dubbed “Bathhouse Betty” for her time at “The Tubs” and has been called a “gay icon” by members of the LGBTQ community, reports Pride Source, for her work in gay cult films such as “Beaches “, “Hocus Pocus” and “The First Wives Club”.
Midler’s tweet sparked a debate both over inclusive terminology and overturning Roe v. Wade. Despite Midler’s ties to the LGBTQ community, many on Twitter are unimpressed with his approach to advocating for the rights of women and transgender people.