How Not to be an Ally: KateGate’s Growing Horrors: From the B-52s’ Kate Pierson’s Unapologetic Alignment With Anti-Trans Activism to Her Transparently Empty Call for Dialogue

I’ve had numerous personal anthems and songs that got me through tough patches in life. Not one of them has been specifically trans themed.

But that’s neither here nor there, maybe more reflective of when I came out than anything or just my perspective on trans being something I was treated for rather than an identity.

But Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” failed to move me.  I haven’t bothered with checking You Tube for Kate Pierson’s “Mister Sister”.  The very title tells me it is probably offensive.

I’m tired of well meaning non-trans-folks blundering around with their studies and patronizing support.  Dealing with the well meaning, all knowing supporters is often more demeaning than dealing with hateful bigots.  With the bigots I just snarl and hit back, with the well meaning patronizing idiots I have to put up with hurt feelings followed with accusations of non-appreciation.

From Huffington Post:


Dear Kate,

It’s been over a week since the release of your new single, “Mister Sister,” and the publication of my open letter to you regarding the disappointment and pain that it caused me, a longtime fan, and many in the trans community. What initially began as a few sparks flying about your single has officially turned into a conflagration.

In your response to the criticism, you claimed that dialogue is important. Yet over the past several days, many comments posted to your Facebook page that have been critical of the message in your song (and nonthreatening, despite claims to the contrary) have been quickly and summarily removed. Moreover, how can I or anyone else who shares my concerns find meaning in dialogue when you didn’t respond specifically to any of the issues I raised, such as the inclusion of a documented transmisogynist in your video? What does dialogue actually mean to you, and how do we achieve it? Because we’re clearly not there now.

You responded, “By ‘trans’ I meant to be more universal and not presume to ‘represent’ any particular group. Huffington Post added the ‘(gender)’ to my quote….” The problem here is that I never once called your new single a “transgender anthem.” Starting with the headline, I clearly called it your “trans anthem,” just like you did, and as I did throughout my letter. In fact, I only used the word “transgender” once, and that was in reference to viciously transmisogynistic commentary by Alyson Palmer, one of your video’s two problematic guests.

Then you briefly talked about the “power of transformation,” “the joy of self acceptance,” “transcend[ing] gender boundaries,” and “promot[ing] greater understanding.” Finally, you closed by reminding me of your dedication to the fight for LGBTQ rights, and you acknowledged “how important dialogue such as this can be.” Dialogue, you say, is “just as important today than ever before.”

Since my open letter was published many other wonderful, important, and thoughtful responses to your single by members of the trans community have been published. They range from the personal and heartbreaking to the calmly diplomatic to the plainly frustrated to researched journalism to a succinctly in-your-face reality check to the brilliantly sincere, silly, and satirical. This while you tweet and cheer about a brutally cutting and wordy post by a “gendercrit” blogger who calls those of us who have issues with the single “anti-feminist trans activist league of SJ hashtag hobgoblins.” I’m a passionate intersectional feminist, by the way, as opposed to a trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF). I’m anti-bigot and profoundly pro-feminist, despite the ongoing attempt by some to reclaim an exclusionary, marginalizing, tightly wound twisting of what “feminism” means. In snarky academic prose, this writer makes the poisonous case that trangender people are nothing more than a political movement. She even names Cathy Brennan, one of the most infamous anti-gender activists in circulation, as someone she aspires to call a friend. For goodness’ sake, Kate, this is dialogue to you? What planet are you on? Planet Claire?

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