Macy Gray claims ‘transphobic’ comments were ‘grossly misunderstood’

Macy Gray has responded to accusations of transphobia, saying her comments on Piers Morgan’s show were “grossly misunderstood”.

Gray has faced intense criticism since appearing on Piers Morgan Uncensored on Monday (July 4). During her interview, Gray said: “I will say this, and everyone’s gonna hate me, but as a woman, just because you go change your [body] parts, doesn’t make you a woman, sorry.”

Gray’s words were widely condemned as “transphobic”, and she was called out by LGBTQ+ fans including the organisers of Mighty Hoopla, the queer festival she performed at in June.

In a statement reported by The Independent on Wednesday (6 July), Gray insisted she had “nothing but love for the LGBT+ and transgender community” and said she has “been a supporter since day one”.

“My statement on Piers Morgan [Uncensored] was grossly misunderstood,” Gray said. “I don’t hate anyone. I respect everyone’s right to feel comfortable in their bodies and live their own truth.”

During the interview, Gray said: “If you want me to call you a ‘her’, I will cause that’s what you want, but that doesn’t make you a woman just ‘cause I call you a ‘her’ and just because you got a surgery”.

She added that she doesn’t think she should be “called transphobic” and was “just saying what it is” – though many argued her words were indeed transphobic.

During the height of the backlash, Gray took to Twitter to comment on several posts.

In a reply to a since-deleted tweet, she said: “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.”

In another, she wrote: “There is no bigger admirer of lgbt community than your truly. it takes real balls to be honest about who you are. ‘woman’ is a title that you earn and become. just like ‘man.’ there are plenty of females who aren’t women yet and every girl gets that.”

Gray also replied to a post by journalist India Willoughby, who said “as for [Macy] – how to kill what’s left of your career”. Gray responded: “Truth hurts.”

This garnered support from author JK Rowling, who posted a screengrab of the exchange, adding: “Today feels like a good day to ensure I’ve bought [Macy Gray’s] entire back catalogue.”

Macy Gray’s comments came on the same day that actor Bette Midler parroted anti-trans dog whistles in a tweet.

The Hocus Pocus actor claimed: “They don’t call use ‘women’ anymore; they call us ‘birthing people’ or ‘menstruators’, and even ‘people with vaginas!'”

Fans and Twitter users were disappointed, pleading with her to not “fall for the anti-trans panic fake nonsense”.

Midler has also since backtracked on her words, claiming that she had no intention of being transphobic but stopping short of apologising.