Kiss star Paul Stanley blasts parents who support trans kids – and everyone’s making the same point

KISS star Paul Stanley playing guitar on stage, with a screenshot of his tweet about trans youth superimposed next to him

One of the co-founders of glam rock band Kiss, Paul Stanley, is being fiercely criticised for a statement where he called gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth “a sad and dangerous fad”.

Stanley’s comments were made in a rambling statement he shared on Twitter, titled “My Thoughts On What I’m Seeing”.

He claimed there was a “big difference” between teaching acceptance and normalising “participation in a lifestyle that confuses young children into questioning their sexual identification as though some sort of game”.

Stanley added that while he thought gender reassignment was a “needed choice” for some individuals “as adults”, for children it was not OK because “some adults mistakenly confused teaching acceptance with normalising and encouraging a situation that has been a struggle for those truly affected”.

In the overwhelming majority of countries across the world, including the UK and the US, no one under the age of 18 is legally able to have gender reassignment surgery. Some young people may be prescribed reversible puberty blockers, however.

It was these parents he said that “have turned it [gender reassignment surgery] into a sad and dangerous fad”.

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In the statement, he also said many children that had “no real sense of sexuality or sexual experiences [were] caught up in the ‘fun’ of using pronouns and saying what they identify as”.

His comments were slammed by followers and fellow musicians.

Musician and journalist Steve Albini simply weighed in saying: “I remember when punk rock came along and made you irrelevant the first time.”

The Offspring guitarist Kevin Wasserman said it was “a very disappointing take, especially from someone who wore high heels, makeup and teased up hair his whole career”.

“As a young kid your band helped teach me that I cold be whatever I wanted to be. I guess it was just gimmickry after all.”

Kiss members are famously known for their makeup (Stanley’s The Starchild persona even sports a bold red lip) and tight, bedazzled and revealing costumes – and this was highlighted in responses to Stanley’s post.

It’s notable given Stanley’s statement mentioned young children wearing the clothes of their opposite-sex siblings.

A number of other people also made reference to Kiss’ lyrics, particularly the 1977 song “Christine Sixteen”, which is about an older man’s affection for a 16-year-old who he states is “hot every day and night”.

The lyrics to “Christine Sixteen” include: “I don’t usually say things like this to girls your age / But when I saw you coming out of school that day / (Christine sixteen) / That day I knew, I knew / I’ve got to have you, I’ve got to have you.”

It also talks about the young girl making the older man feel “dizzy”, and him wanting to “give her what I’ve got”.

While a wave a anti-trans sentiment continues to sweep the US, it is important to note that even a poll by Fox News – a conservative media channel that has helped stoke the flames of anti-trans sentiment – showed that a majority of American voters think transgender children are wrongly targeted by political attacks.