During spring 2023, KISS singer and guitarist Paul Stanley and Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider made headlines after being accused of transphobia. It all started with a statement by Paul Stanley in which he said that children’s innocent play with gender roles should not lead their parents to hasty conclusions such as gender reassignment. Unsurprisingly, this lead to Paul Stanley being quickly accused of transphobia, with quite a few arguing that they expected otherwise from someone who made a career while wearing long hair, make-up, sequin outfits and platform shoes. However, there were also many people who agreed with Paul Stanley, amongst others Dee Snider who was then also accused of transphobia. While Paul Stanley quickly backpedalled, Dee Snider – who is a longtime supporter of LGBTQ rights – stood by his words, questioning the expectation of the LGBTQ+ community of “fealty and total agreement with all their beliefs”.
In an interview with the online music magazine Stereogum, Alice Cooper now expresses his view of things:
“I’m understanding that there are cases of transgender, but I’m afraid that it’s also a fad, and I’m afraid there’s a lot of people claiming to be this just because they want to be that. I find it wrong when you’ve got a six-year-old kid who has no idea. He just wants to play, and you’re confusing him telling him, ‘Yeah, you’re a boy, but you could be a girl if you want to be.’ I think that’s so confusing to a kid. It’s even confusing to a teenager. You’re still trying to find your identity, and yet here’s this thing going on, saying, ‘Yeah, but you can be anything you want. You can be a cat if you want to be.’ I mean, if you identify as a tree… And I’m going, ‘Come on! What are we in, a Kurt Vonnegut novel?’ It’s so absurd, that it’s gone now to the point of absurdity.”– Alice Cooper
The Godfather of Shock Rock goes on to say:
“The whole woke thing… Nobody can answer this question. Maybe you can. Who’s making the rules? Is there a building somewhere in New York where people sit down every day and say, ‘Okay, we can’t say ‘mother’ now. We have to say ‘birthing person.’ Get that out on the wire right now’? Who is this person that’s making these rules? I don’t get it. I’m not being old school about it. I’m being logical about it. […] I don’t know one person that agrees with the woke thing. I don’t know one person. Everybody I talk to says, ‘Isn’t it stupid?’ […] I say let somebody at least become sexually aware of who they are before they start thinking about if they’re a boy or a girl. A lot of times, I look at it this way, the logical way: If you have these genitals, you’re a boy. If you have those genitals, you’re a girl. There’s a difference between ‘I am a male who is a female, or I’m a female that’s a male’ and wanting to be a female. You were born a male. Okay, so that’s a fact. You have these things here. Now, the difference is you want to be a female. Okay, that’s something you can do later on if you want to. But you’re not a male born a female.”– Alice Cooper
Similar to the British author J. K. Rowling, Alice Cooper also sees certain dangers associated with increasing gender fluidity:
“I can see somebody really taking advantage of this […]. A guy can walk into a woman’s bathroom at any time and just say, ‘I just feel like I’m a woman today’ and have the time of his life in there, and he’s not in the least bit… He’s just taking advantage of that situation. Well, that’s going to happen. Somebody’s going to get raped, and the guy’s going to say, ‘Well, I felt like a girl that day, and then I felt like a guy.’ Where do you draw this line? Something’s going to raise its ugly head, and all of a sudden, people are going to start going, ‘Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. We’ve got to get this under control.’ “– Alice Cooper