Veteran shock rocker Alice Cooper, known for his bizarre makeup and costumes and outrageous antics, has bashed transgender people in a new interview, in which he invoked the bathroom predator myth and the debunked idea that children are identifying as cats.
Now he has lost a brand partnership with a cosmetics company as a result.
Stereogum interviewer Rachel Brodsky mentioned that Cooper “played around with gender expectations early on” and that some of his “‘theatrical’ rock peers have commented about gender identity, with Paul Stanley and Dee Snider calling gender-affirming care for kids a ‘sad and dangerous fad.’” She then asked Cooper for his thoughts.
“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,” he replied. “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,” he continued. “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.”
“So 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.”
However, many trans people are aware of their gender identity very early in life. And Brodsky said, “I don’t think parents are encouraging doubt in their kids’ identities. I would just hope that they listen to their kids and find pediatricians that provide appropriate care.” But Cooper doubled down and went right to the bathroom predator myth.
“Well, I can see somebody really taking advantage of this, though,” he said. “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?”
But “reports of privacy and safety violations in public restrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms are exceedingly rare,” according to a study from the Williams Institute, a think tank on LGBTQ+ issues at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. And they are not related to laws that allow trans people access to the facilities matching their gender identity.
Further, trans businesswoman Wynne Nowland wrote in Newsweekin June, “There is no statistical evidence to support the idea that women or children are unsafe with trans-inclusive bathroom policies, nor is there any evidence to support that there are men dressing as women to gain access to bathrooms for nefarious purposes.”
Vampyre Cosmetics, which specializes in goth-style makeup, had announced a collaboration with Cooper about two weeks ago. Now the deal is off, the company announced on Instagram Thursday, the day after the Stereogum interview was published.
“In light of recent statements by Alice Cooper we will no longer be doing a makeup collaboration,” the post said. “We stand with all members of the LGBTQIA+ community and believe everyone should have access to healthcare. All pre-order sales will be refunded.”