In a new interview with Stereogum, Alice Cooper was asked for his thoughts on some of the recent comments made by his "theatrical" rock peers about gender identity, with Paul Stanley calling gender-affirming care for kids a "sad and dangerous fad" and Dee Snider apparently agreeing with him. Alice said: "I'm understanding that there are cases of transgender, but I'm afraid that it's also a fad, and I'm afraid there's a lot of people claiming to be this just because they want to be that. 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 him telling him, 'Yeah, you're a boy, but you could be a girl if you want to be.' 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… And I'm going, 'Come on! What are we in, a Kurt Vonnegut novel?' It's so absurd, that it's gone now to the point of absurdity.
"The whole woke thing… Nobody can answer this question. Maybe you can. Who's making the rules?" he continued. "Is there a building somewhere in New York where people sit down every day and say, 'Okay, we can't say 'mother' now. We have to say 'birthing person.' Get that out on the wire right now'? Who is this person that's making these rules? I don't get it. I'm not being old school about it. I'm being logical about it.
"It's getting to the point now where it's laughable. If anybody was trying to make a point on this thing, they turned it into a huge comedy. I don't know one person that agrees with the woke thing. I don't know one person. Everybody I talk to says, 'Isn't it stupid?' And I'm going, 'Well, I respect people. I respect people and who they are, but I'm not going to tell a seven-year-old boy, 'Go put a dress on because maybe you're a girl,' and he's going, 'No, I'm not. I'm a boy.''
"So 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," Alice added. "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. There's a difference between 'I am a male who is a female, or I'm a female that's a male' and wanting to be a female. You were born a male. Okay, so that's a fact. You have these things here. Now, the difference is you want to be a female. Okay, that's something you can do later on if you want to. But you're not a male born a female."
When the interviewer pointed out to Alice that parents are not encouraging doubt in their kids' identities and are merely listening to their kids and finding pediatricians that provide appropriate care, Cooper said: "Well, I can see somebody really taking advantage of this, though. 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, and he's not in the least bit… He's just taking advantage of that situation. Well, that's going to happen. Somebody's going to get raped, and the guy's going to say, 'Well, I felt like a girl that day, and then I felt like a guy.' Where do you draw this line? Something's going to raise its ugly head, and all of a sudden, people are going to start going, 'Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. We've got to get this under control.' It's almost like that with AI. People would say, 'Well, what about AI?' And I said, 'The only person that shouldn't have AI is Paul McCartney.' It's dangerous."
In late April, Stanley took to his Twitter to weigh in on kids' gender identities and the parents who are "normalizing and even encouraging participation" in embracing them, calling it a "sad and dangerous fad."
The 71-year-old rocker made his comments as politicians in several states have attempted to restrict trans Americans' ability to seek gender-affirming medical treatments. In some states, such as Georgia and Tennessee, bans for minors have already been enacted in the first quarter of 2023.
On April 30, Paul shared the following statement: "My Thoughts On What I'm Seeing
"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.
"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.
"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."
Among the people who reacted positively to Stanley's statement was Snider, who has been a longtime ally of the LGBTQ+ community.
"You know what? There was a time where I 'felt pretty' too," Snider tweeted to Stanley. "Glad my parents didn't jump to any rash conclusions!"
Snider continued: "Parents need to be less reactionary; Right and Left. No need to steer the child in either direction. Let the kid figure it out for themselves knowing their family is supportive. I had a vet/cop hardass dad who, while he shook his head A LOT…let me do my thing."
When a fan questioned Snider's comments, the singer said: "I guess I'll just need to turn in my LGBTQIA+ membership card."
In 2021, about 42,000 children and teens across the United States received a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, nearly triple the number in 2017, according to data Komodo compiled for Reuters. Gender dysphoria is defined as the distress caused by a discrepancy between a person's gender identity and the one assigned to them at birth.
Transgender is a broad term for people whose "gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth," according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
According to a recent survey from The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation, 78% of transgender adults in the United States say living with a gender different from the one assigned to them at birth has made them more satisfied with their lives.
In April, outspoken conservative rocker Ted Nugent shared a tweet in which he denounced the existence of transgender people and told people they could "debate" him if they disagreed.
"There is no such thing as transgender. You cannot change your gender. Comfortably numb is actually uncomfortably dumb. Debate me but bring your bib," he wrote.
Photo credit: Jenny Risher