KISS frontman Paul Stanley has attempted to clarify his previous statement calling the encouragement of kids to gender transition "a sad and dangerous fad."
On Sunday (April 30),the face-paint-wearing singer-guitarist shared a Twitter post titled "My Thoughts On What I'm Seeing" in which he wrote: "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," he continued. "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."
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.
Within hours, Stanley's post was criticized for, among other things, conflating gender identity and sexuality.
Some of Paul's Twitter followers pointed out that KISS, which he co-founded in 1973, was pioneering in breaking down the taboos surrounding men wearing makeup and feminine clothing.
Earlier today, Stanley returned to Twitter to share a follow-up statement o the matter, writing: "While my thoughts were clear, my words clearly were not.
"Most importantly and above all else, I support those struggling with their sexual identity while enduring constant hostility and those whose path leads them to reassignment surgery. It's hard to fathom the kind of conviction that one must feel to take those steps.
"A paragraph or two will remain far too short to fully convey my thoughts or point of view so I will leave that for another time and place."
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.
Last month, 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.