SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Two days after he was pulled from a main-stage appearance at this year’s Pride Celebration in San Francisco — and after his song, “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” was canceled as the festival’s unofficial rallying cry — Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider has issued a response.
“I was not aware the Transgender community expects fealty and total agreement with all their beliefs and any variation or deviation is considered ‘transphobic,'” wrote Snider in a Facebook post.
“So, my lifetime of supporting the Transgender community’s right to identify as they want and honoring whatever changes they may make in how they present themselves to the world isn’t enough?” he continued, in a post he titled, “So, I hear I’m transphobic. Really?”
At the center of the brouhaha with Pride is a tweet Snider sent earlier this week, in which he voiced his support for a statement from fellow rocker, Paul Stanley of Kiss, that was widely panned for being anti-trans.
Stanley’s post read, in part: “With many children who have no real sense of sexuality or sexual experiences 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 have turned it into a sad and dangerous fad.”
The post led some to criticize the Kiss singer of mischaracterizing gender-affirming care as a “some sort of game.”
Snider retweeted Stanley’s remarks, adding, “You know what? There was a time where I ‘felt pretty’ too. Glad my parents didn’t jump to any rash conclusions.”
The tweet resulted in Pride dropping Snider from its main stage where he was set to perform Twisted Sister’s hard-rock anthem “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
“Dee has always been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights,” said SF Pride in a statement on the matter. “However, 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. The message perpetuated by that tweet casts doubt on young trans people’s ability to self-identify their gender.”
In his lengthy response to being dropped by Pride, Snider attempted to explain his viewpoint, saying, “I’ve recently stated I do not believe young children are ready to decide their gender allocation. 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.”
Snider goes on to describe himself as a “proud moderate,” and a heterosexual who proudly supports LBGTQIA+ rights.”
“The transgender community needs moderates who support their choices, even if we don’t agree with every one of their edicts,” Snider continued. “For some Transgender people (not all) to accuse supporters, like me, of transphobia is not a good look for their cause.”
The singer, who signed off his statement as “Your cisgender, crossdressing ally,” said he would continue to support the transgender community and their right to choose, “even if they reject me.”
Snider’s full statement can be read on Facebook.
Kiss’ Paul Stanley, meanwhile, has since claimed the wording of his initial post was not “clear.”
“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,” Stanley wrote Thursday on social media. “It’s hard to fathom the kind of conviction that one must feel to take those steps.”