Kiss member Paul Stanley waded into the trans youth debate with an Instagram statement calling the encouragement of kids to gender transition “a sad and dangerous fad.”
“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 cases allow it,” the singer-guitarist wrote in a post titled “My Thoughts On What I’m Seeing.”
“There ARE individuals who as adults may decide reassignment is their needed choice but 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,” he continued. “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.”
Stanley’s post has been criticized for, among other things, conflating gender identity and sexuality.
Some pointed out that Kiss, which was co-founded by Stanley in 1973, was pioneering in breaking down the taboos surrounding men wearing makeup and feminine clothing.
Offspring guitarist Noodles (aka Kevin Wasserman) wrote on Twitter: “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.”
Stanley’s comment comes amid a furious debate over legislation in many states that seeks to restrict gender-affirming care.
Last week, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit aiming to halt a new Tennessee law banning such treatment for minors, claiming it denies “necessary medical care to youth.”
“The right to consider your health and medically-approved treatment options with your family and doctors is a right that everyone should have, including transgender children, who are especially vulnerable to serious risks of depression, anxiety and suicide,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney General Kristen Clarke in a statement.