Enlarge Kiss photo by Dena Flows

Paul Stanley, Who Performed in Makeup and Heels for Decades, Calls Childhood Gender Issues a “Dangerous Fad”


Man, what is it with musicians from the 70s and feeling the need to open their mouths and offer unsolicited comments on a complex subject that they’re far too willing to over-simplify on social media? If it’s not Ted Nugent spouting off some stupid shit, it’s someone else and this week, it’s KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley.

Yesterday afternoon, the 71-year-old man that’s spent most of his life performing in what’s effectively drag (when he wasn’t looking like this) felt the need to insert himself into the ongoing debate about childhood gender dysphoria and whether parents were forcing kids to undergo gender reassignment procedures at a young age. In his statement, he claims parents are in some cases “turning this into a game” and getting kids “caught up in the ‘fun’ of using pronouns.”

You can read his full statement below.

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.

It’s good that Paul Stanley here hasn’t gone full anti-trans — at least he acknowledges that gender transition therapy among adults is a good thing if they need it. But fuckin’ yikes, that take on the whole “parents are doing things that ‘confuses young children into questioning their sexual identification’” really doesn’t paint the whole picture, my guy.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “most children between ages 18 and 24 months can recognize and label gender groups…however, society tends to have a narrow view of gender. As a result, some children learn to behave in ways that may not reflect their gender identity.” Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood says “most kids begin to identify strongly with a gender around age 3. That includes transgender and gender nonconforming people, who also have a sense of their gender identity at this stage.” That’s not to say this is necessarily set in stone, since this too can fluctuate as that child gets older, but I think it gets my point across.

By the time kids are in kindergarten, they pretty much have a good idea of what they are. I’m not saying they have to undergo life-altering surgeries, but to say kids don’t know what’s going on their body kind of rips their autonomy away, Paul Stanley — kind of like how your bandmate Gene Simmons allegedly likes taking bodily autonomy away from people, it seems.

I don’t know if Paul Stanley realizes this, but the concept of gender being just two options isn’t held everywhere in the world: there are cultures where gender is a more fluid concept, leading people to live the lives they want to live. Meanwhile, teens that are forced to stay within the rigid binary of “boy” and “girl” yet feel like those labels don’t fit are more likely to attempt suicide.

But yeah. Let’s listen to the guy who wrote the following lyrics for “Christine Sixteen” in his 20s about how kids are being corrupted and confused by the adults in their lives:

“I don’t usually say things like this to girls your age
But when I saw you coming out of school that day
That day I knew, I knew
I’ve got to have you, I’ve got to have you”

And we’re not going to say anything about this look, eh?

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