The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Bette Midler, Macy Gray Slammed for Anti-Trans Remarks

Bette Midler and Macy Gray

Bette Midler and Macy Gray are getting blowback for anti-transgender comments they made over the weekend, and Gray has issued an apology of sorts, saying her remarks were “grossly misunderstood.” But many are calling them TERFs, meaning “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.”

Midler, who has had a large LGBTQ+ fan base throughout her career, tweeted Monday that women “are being stripped of our rights over our bodies, our lives and even of our name!” She objected to trans-inclusive language around reproductive issues.

The tweet drew many denunciations along with some support. Midler has not commented further, according to several media sources.

Gray, who also has a substantial LGBTQ+ following, made trans-exclusionary comments Monday on Piers Morgan Uncensored, which airs on Fox’s subscription channel Fox Nation.

She claimed to support trans rights, as did the often-transphobic host. But when he brought up the issue of trans women competing with cisgender women in sports, Gray said, “I will say this, and everyone’s gonna hate me, but as a woman, just because you go change your parts doesn’t make you a woman, sorry. … I know that for a fact.”

Morgan had also opposed including trans women in women’s sports, saying they were “born to obvious physical superior bodies.” Actually, although a few trans women have achieved elite status in women’s athletics, such as swimmer Lia Thomas, they do not dominate women’s sports by any means.

“Being a little girl is a whole epic book, you know?” Gray added. “And you can’t have that just because you want to be a woman. … I don’t think you should be labeled transphobic just because you don’t agree.”

Like Midler, Gray got pushback.

Gray responded Tuesday tweeting, "I wasn't defining trans women. just women. Because I know what it means to be one. I don't know what it means to be a trans woman and never said I did. But that goes both ways."

“I have nothing but love for the LGBTQ+ and transgender community and have been a supporter since day one,” Gray said in a statement to Billboard. “My statement on Piers Morgan was grossly misunderstood. I don’t hate anyone. I respect everyone’s right to feel comfortable in their bodies and live their own truth.”

Some Twitter users weren’t buying it.

But others found nothing wrong with her original statements and said there was no need to apologize.

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