Alice Cooper sparks backlash after declaring gender-affirming care for trans kids is a ‘fad’
Legendary American rock star Alice Cooper has sparked outrage after perpetuating common anti-trans myths.
Cooper – known as the Godfather of Shock Rock – has built a long career by subverting gender norms with his theatrical brand of music, often appearing on stage with reptiles, fake blood and electric chairs, and swords.
In an interview with Stereogum on Wednesday (23 August), “School’s Out” singer Cooper, whose real name is Vincent Damon Furnier, gave his views on trans rights, branding gender-affirming care for trans children a “fad”.
He also pedalled gender-critical arguments such as identifying as a non-human object and misplaced fears around trans-inclusive toilets.
“I’m afraid there [are] a lot of people claiming to be this just because they want to be that,” Cooper said. “I find it wrong when you’ve got a six-year-old kid who has no idea. He just wants to play, and you’re confusing [by] him telling him: ‘Yeah, you’re a boy, but you could be a girl if you want’.
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“I think that’s so confusing to a kid. It’s even confusing to a teenager. You’re still trying to find your identity, and yet here’s this thing going on, saying, ‘Yeah, but you can be anything you want. You can be a cat if you want to be. I mean, if you identify as a tree’…”
Cooper’s comments coincide with the rise in US legislation against gender-affirming care for trans youth, despite the findings of a study in January which proved the positive effect on mental health this gives trans teenagers, while doctors have testified that it is “life-saving care”.
Meanwhile, large numbers of trans people are stuck on waiting lists for years, waiting for medical advice.
Cooper continued: “And I’m going, ‘Come on. What are we in, a Kurt Vonnegut novel?’ It’s so absurd.”
He went on to criticise “woke” gender-inclusive language in healthcare, saying: “We can’t say ‘mother’ now, we have to say ‘birthing person’.
“Who is this person making these rules? I don’t get it. I’m not being old-school about it. I’m being logical.”
Healthcare professionals, however, have consistently confirmed that inclusive-language options remain patient-dependent.
The 75-year-old singer, who performs in heavy makeup and bizarre costumes, added that the trans rights movement was “laughable” and a “huge comedy”. Everyone he speaks to calls it “stupid”, he claimed, and his “respect” for people means he would never force a “seven-year-old boy” to wear a dress if he didn’t want to.
“I say let somebody at least become sexually aware of who they are before they start thinking about if they’re a boy or a girl. A lot of times, I look at it this way, the logical way: if you have these genitals, you’re a boy, if you have those genitals, you’re a girl. [If] you want to be a female, OK, that’s something you can do later on if you want. But you’re not a male born a female.”
The star, who once described himself as the most functional alcoholic ever and credited Jesus with saving him, went on to criticise people who enter the public toilet that aligns with their gender.
He echoed the anti-trans perspective that men would “take advantage”, leading to an increase in violent crimes. “A guy can walk into a woman’s bathroom at any time and just say, ‘I just feel like I’m a woman today’, and have the time of his life in there,” he said.
“Somebody’s going to get raped, and the guy’s going to say: ‘Well, I felt like a girl that day, then I felt like a guy’. Where do you draw this line?”
A number of US states, including Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, North Dakota and Idaho, have passed legislation restricting which public toilets trans people can use. Although there is no evidence that trans people pose a risk, there are documented cases of transgender people being harassed in toilets.
Cooper’s comments have sparked a backlash on social media.
“Just another day when another artist I love, whose whole career was built on exploiting transgressive behaviour for the masses, turns out to be a transphobe,” one person wrote.
Another added: “This breaks my heart. I thought of all the rockers, he would be very supportive.”
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