Dee Snider Insists He’s Still an LGBT Ally, But Says Community ‘Needs Moderates’
Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider insisted he remains an ally of the LGBTQ community and argued those with moderate views should not be labeled as transphobes after he was dropped from this year’s San Francisco Pride event for supporting Paul Stanley’s transphobic tweet.
“I was not aware the Transgender community expects fealty and total agreement with all their beliefs and any variation or deviation is considered ‘transphobic,’” Snider wrote in a statement shared on social media (emphasis his).
He added later, “The Transgender community needs moderates who support their choices, even if we don’t agree with every one of their edicts. For Some Transgender people (not all) to cause supporters, like me, of transphobia is not a good look for their cause.”
In a statement shared with Rolling Stone, SF Pride president Nguyen Pham said, “Don’t get it ‘twisted,’ Dee Snider was not dropped from this year’s San Francisco Pride celebration. It was a mutual decision after a productive, educational conversation with him.”
Suzanne Ford, the organization’s executive director, added, “Like any ally, we’re glad that Dee wants to continue learning about the issues that affect the transgender community. As a trans woman, I can tell you that no two stories are alike — this isn’t a black and white conversation, which is why educating the public is so critical. By donating to SF Pride, you’re creating a safer space for that scared trans child who was brave enough to stand up and tell the world who they really are — receiving the support they need from their parents, a medical professional, and their community.”
The whole dust-up began last weekend when Stanely issued an unprompted statement where he called the expression of gender identity among children a “sad and dangerous fad,” and suggested adults are “encouraging” kids to take their experimentation with presentation beyond “the innocence of what they are doing.” He also appeared to erroneously conflate gender with sexual orientation, which medical researchers say develop separately.
Stanley’s statement was amplified — and in some cases exaggerated — by the usual anti-trans suspects and across right-wing media. (Stanley ultimately appeared to walk his words back yesterday, writing, “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 condition that one must feel to take those steps.”)
Snider was among those not on the far-right who did voice his support for Stanley’s original statement, tweeting, “You know what? There was a time where I ‘felt pretty’ too. Glad my parents didn’t jump to any rash conclusions!” He added, “Parents need to be less reactionary; Right and Left. No need to steer the child in either direction. Let the kid figure it out for themselves knowing their family is supportive. I had a vet/cop hardass dad who, while he shook his head A LOT…let me do my thing.”
In response, SF Pride decided to call off Snider’s planned performance at its event this June, where the musician was set to perform Twisted Sister’s hit, “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” While SF Pride acknowledged that Snider “has always been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights,” the organization said it was “heartbroken and angry” when it learned about Snider’s support for Stanley’s comments.
“The message perpetuated by that tweet casts doubt on young trans people’s ability to self-identify their gender,” SF Pride said, adding: “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.”
In his new statement today, May 5, Snider stressed his “lifetime of supporting the Transgender community’s right to identify as they want.” He also tried to clarify his thoughts on childhood gender expression.
“I’ve recently stated I do not believe young children are ready to decide their gender allocation,” he said. “I believe their choices should be supported and accepted by their parents, but I do not think kids have the mental capabilities to make rational, logical decisions on things of a magnitude that will affect them for the rest of their lives. I do not believe they are mentally developed enough.”
Going on to declare himself a “proud moderate,” Snider said at the end of his statement, “Don’t reject people who are willing to march, sing and stand with you just because we don’t perfectly see eye-to-eye. We are still your allies. I, Dee Snider, will continue to support the Transgender community and their right to choose even if they reject me and moving forward, I am open to educating myself so I can be a better ally.”
This story was updated May 5 @ 3:48 p.m. ET with statements from SF Pride.
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