Paul Stanley of the iconic rock band KISS has voiced his opposition to gender affirming care among kids, saying it has become a “game”… a comment that pushed more than a few buttons of those on social media.
In a lengthy Sunday social media post, Stanley wrote about his thoughts on what he was observing in society:
“There is a BIG difference between teaching acceptance and normalizing and even encouraging participation in a lifestyle that confuses young children into questioning their sexual identification as though some sort of game and then parents in some case allow it. There ARE individuals who as adults may decide reassignment is their needed choice by turning this into a game or parents normalizing it as some sort of natural alternative or believing that because a little boy likes to play dress up in his sister’s clothes or a girl in her brother’s, we should lead them steps further down a path that’s far from the innocence of what they are doing. 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.”
People were very quick to react, among them political commentator Keith Olbermann.
“It’s not a ‘game,’ you a–hole. What you do is a GAME. What they face – internally and now externally due to stupid panicky fascists like you, externally – is an excruciating ordeal,” Olbermann wrote.
Others went further, noting that KISS’ brand is all about nonconformity and playing “dress up.”
“No one is leading a child down a path to gender reassignment surgery because they like to play dress up. Did anyone do that to you as an adult?” JoJoFromJerz wrote.
NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins had this to say: “The idea of KISS (!) of all bands complaining about gender nonconforming people is just… chef’s kiss.”
“Paul i know you mean well but i don’t think posting a whole paragraph sort of justifying transphobia is the way to go,” mxlecules said.
And dreadwokeguy came out and called KISS a “drag Queen” band: “Aren’t you in a band of drag queens? I mean, a drag Queen band is cool and all, but you shouldn’t be such a transphobe.”
“This is really disappointing. You’re assuming a significant portion of parents are engaged in ‘some sort of game,’ as though the vast majority aren’t making serious, loving, supportive decisions based on knowing their kids. I encourage you to look more deeply,” hlnadecker wrote.
And TheGnudz said, “This is a very disappointing take, especially from someone who wore high-heels, makeup, & teased up hair his whole career. As a young kid your band helped teach me that I could be whatever I wanted to be. I guess it was just gimmickry after all. #thatsashame”
Is it possible that a child’s gender identity could just be a phase?
“Sure, most children and teens go through ‘phases’ – like only wearing all black, dying their hair, being obsessed with a certain band or asking to go by a nickname – but being transgender or non-binary is not a phase—it is a journey, and trying to dismiss it can be harmful during a time when your child most needs support and validation,” the Human Rights Campaign said.
It continued: “Trying to change your child’s gender identity – either by denial, punishment, reparative therapy or any other tactic – is not only ineffective; it is dangerous and can do permanent damage to your child’s mental health. So-called ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapies, which are typically faith-based, have been uniformly condemned as psychologically harmful by the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and numerous similar professional organizations.”
According to the HRC, “The most recent survey of high school students by the Centers for Disease Control finds that roughly 3% of adolescents and teens identify as transgender or non-binary.”