Aging Detroit shock rocker Alice Cooper is again in the midst of controversy, this time not for stage antics, but for his comments on transgender people.
Cooper was supposed to release a makeup collection with Vampyre Cosmetics, but it was canceled shortly after it was announced when he called being transgender “a fad” in an interview with Stereogum.
When the interviewer asked his thoughts on comments by Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley calling gender-affirming care a “sad and dangerous fad” (which also got support from Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider), Cooper 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.’”
He adds, “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. 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. OK, so that’s a fact. You have these things here. Now, the difference is you want to be a female. OK, that’s something you can do later on if you want to. But you’re not a male born a female.”
When the interviewer notes that parents are not encouraging kids to become transgender, rather listening with understanding if their child comes out as trans, Cooper made an absurd comment about men using women’s bathrooms and committing rape.
“Well, I can see somebody really taking advantage of this, though,” he said. “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?
The Vampyre Cosmetics x Alice Cooper Makeup Collection was first announced on Aug. 14, with the company praising Cooper for his unconventional stage persona.
“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is no stranger to breaking barriers over his five-decade career where he pioneered a theatrical form of heavy metal music performance,” Vampyre Cosmetics wrote in the announcement. “Alice’s use of makeup during his stage shows, christened him one of the first male artists to show the art form of face makeup wasn’t a gender-specific product in an era where this was controversial.”
The company, which is “proudly women owned, disabled owned, and LGBTQ owned,” quickly changed its tone and canceled the collection after Cooper’s remarks.
A message at the top of the Vampyre Cosmetics x Alice Cooper Makeup Collection page now reads, “In light of recent statements by Alice Cooper we will no longer be doing a makeup collaboration. We stand with all members of the LGBTQIA+ community and believe everyone should have access to healthcare. All pre-order sales will be refunded.”
In the interview, Cooper also said “the whole woke thing” was “laughable.”
“Is there a building somewhere in New York where people sit down every day and say, ‘OK, 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.”
What’s laughable is a man who has worn makeup and ruffled blouses his entire career making disparaging remarks about gender identity and expecting an LGBTQ-owned brand to be cool with it.