Advertisement

Dee Snider responds to SF Pride backlash: ‘So, I hear I’m transphobic. Really?’

Dozens of people wave pride flags as they parade in San Francisco.
San Francisco Pride has dropped Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider from its June event.
(Arun Nevader / Getty Images)
Share via

San Francisco Pride is not gonna take any transphobia, not even from Twisted Sister’s singer Dee Snider.

On Wednesday, SF Pride announced that Twisted Sister and its hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It” were supposed to have major parts in its June festivities — until a recent social media post from Snider.

“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,” SF Pride in a statement on Facebook. “The message perpetuated by that tweet casts doubt on young trans people’s ability to self-identify their gender.”

Advertisement

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to fly the Progress Pride flag at county offices this June in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

March 8, 2023

Last Sunday, Stanley called discussions about gender identity and pronouns a “sad and dangerous fad.” A day later, Snider shared Stanley’s tweet and wrote, “There was a time where I ‘felt pretty’ too. Glad my parents didn’t jump to any rash conclusions! Well said, @PaulStanleyLive.”

The SF Pride’s statement continued: “Transgender people, particularly transgender women and children of color, are disproportionately affected by hate and violence. And with transphobia proliferating and becoming more and more enshrined in law throughout the country — we have to stand up for the most impacted among us.”

In recent months, the transgender community has become a target for several anti-LGBTQ+ laws, including a House bill that would limit transgender athletes’ participation in sports.

Paul Stanley of KISS shared his thoughts Sunday about acceptance of transgender people versus normalization of children transitioning. Reactions were mixed.

May 1, 2023

Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” was supposed to be the “unofficial rallying cry” of this year’s two-day Pride event in San Francisco, and Snider was meant to perform, but the parties “mutually agreed to part ways,” the statement said.

Snider responded Friday to the SF Pride controversy with a short essay titled, “So, I hear I’m transphobic. Really?” In a lengthy statement shared on social media, Snider insisted that he has “always stood with the [LGBTQ+] community and its important causes.”

“I was honored to accept the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade’s invitation and I even gave my blessing for ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ to be used as this year’s battle cry [‘Queer Not Gonna Take It!’],” Snider wrote.

Advertisement

Is that transphobic? I was not aware the Transgender community expects fealty and total agreement with all their beliefs and any variation or deviation is considered ‘transphobic.’ 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? Why not?

Snider concluded his remarks by advising members of the LGBTQ+ community not to “reject people who are willing to march, sing and stand with you just because we don’t perfectly see eye-to-eye.”

We are still your allies,” Snider added. “I, Dee Snider, will continue to support the Transgender community and their right to choose even if they reject me and moving forward, I am open to educating myself so I can be a better ally.”

He signed the message “your cisgender, crossdressing ally.”

Both Snider and Stanley have faced backlash for their comments. On Thursday, the KISS co-founder walked back his previous statement.

“I support those struggling with their sexual identity while enduring constant hostility and those whose path leads them to reassignment surgery,” he tweeted. “It’s hard to fathom the kind of conviction that one must feel to take those steps.”

Though Snider won’t be among the performers at the SF Pride event, set for June 24 and 25, the organization said it sees the singer’s misstep as a “reminder that even allies need to be educated” to ensure they are not sharing transphobic rhetoric.

“To all our allies — we want to call you in — not call you out,” the statement concluded.

Times staff writer Christi Carras contributed to this report.

Advertisement