There is a trend among older folks in LGBTQ+ circles. They tend to scoff at binary trans and nonbinary trans identities almost as much as older conservatives and TERFs tend to. It’s sad because these people are the ones many people looked up to when coming to terms with who they are as people, what their sexual and romantic preferences are, etc. Them living their lives openly sent the message that it was okay for people to live openly as well. Now it looks like when they say open, they mean it within a certain purview, just like the rest of society.
Boy George is the latest public figure to join the likes of J.K. Rowling and Ricky Gervais in promoting transphobic ideals. According to Pink News, the Culture Club frontman caused a stir when he tweeted that disclosing pronouns is a ‘modern form of attention seeking.’ This was a follow up to a January 6th tweet that stated, ‘leave your pronouns at the door.’
When someone on Twitter asked, “What does it take to show others respect by using their preferred pronouns?” George’s reply strongly implies he believes he can tell the gender of someone just by looking at them.
Pink News had this to say: “Specifying your pronouns – on or offline – is a small act that harms no one while helping to encourage inclusivity and demonstrate solidarity with the trans community. Boy George’s stance against this came as a shock to many, particularly in light of his famously androgynous style and bisexual orientation.”
On January 7th, George angered people further by Tweeting: “There’s nothing ‘phobic’ about Miss Boy George! Nish! Nada!” Later, he uploaded a video of himself with the caption: “I’m loving that you can choose bigger eyelashes, because I’m really ‘phobic,’ look at me!”
A bisexual trans woman was quick to clap back, “Oh yeah because eyelashes erase your transphobia.”
When Pink News reached out to Boy George’s management team for comment, they said, “The concept of asking whether Boy George is transphobic is so stupid it doesn’t warrant a response.”
Actually, it does. Because this is a serious problem. Massive public figures with massive followings are adding to the hatred, degradation, and ostracization of a group of people who are constantly under attack. Trans people are bullied to the point of suicide. Trans people are being murdered at a disproportionately high rate. This isn’t a joke. This isn’t up for debate. You either support trans rights or you’re on the wrong side of history.
Public figures who are trans allies, we need you to speak out. Trans people are still largely invisible in public spaces, stats, and conversations about issues like equal pay, gender-based violence and reproductive rights. This needs to change. It’s 2020. Enough is enough.
Trans youth, you matter, and you are valuable. Don’t let anyone make you feel like your pronouns, your identity, or anything else that makes you who you are is invalid. It’s not. Far from it. If you are in need of someone to talk to, reach out to The Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386.