Macy Gray accused of transphobia after saying surgery 'doesn't make you a woman'

·4 min read
Macy Gray accused of transphobia after saying surgery 'doesn't make you a woman'

Grammy-winning "I Try" singer-songwriter Macy Gray has drawn criticism for her remarks about the trans community.

In a Monday evening interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored's namesake host, the 54-year-old performer discussed the "confusing" state of gender identity — specifically referencing "the whole he, she, they" pronoun usage. Though she said she shared Morgan's stance on supporting trans rights for "fairness and equality," she also agreed with his view that trans women "born to obvious superior physical bodies" should be prohibited from competing against cis women in sports.

"I totally agree," she said. "I will say this and everybody's going to hate me, but, as a woman, just because you go change your parts, doesn't make you a woman. Sorry."

She continued: "If you want me to call you a her, I will, because that's what you want, but that doesn't make you a woman just because I call you a her and just because you got a surgery."

Gray said her views stemmed from personal experience with gender and the "completely unique experience" of growing up as a young woman, which she feels must be lived in order to attain womanhood.

"Surgery or finding yourself doesn't change that. Being a little girl is a whole epic book, you know? And you can't have that just because you want to be a woman," she told Morgan, later saying that she "doesn't think you should be labeled transphobic just because you don't agree."

Gray later tweeted that she felt misrepresented by her comments as they appeared on the show.

"i got nothing but love for lgbt+ and transgender communities," she wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. "i've been a supporter since day one and never a fake one. my statement on piers morgan was GROSSLY misunderstood. i respect everyone's right to be whoever they wana [sic] be."

Macy Gray on Piers Morgan- “You’re NOT A WOMAN Just Because You Got Surgery!” Macy Gray on Transgender Identity
Macy Gray on Piers Morgan- “You’re NOT A WOMAN Just Because You Got Surgery!” Macy Gray on Transgender Identity

Piers Morgan Uncensored/YouTube Macy Gray appears on 'Piers Morgan Uncensored.'

The morning after the interview, Morgan tweeted in defense of Gray.

"If there's one thing worse than the vicious trans activist mob coming for women who defend women, it's virtue-signalling men like this fuelling the pile-on. Repulsive," he wrote after sharing a post from Hacks and Pose actor John Sibilly that labeled Gray's words as transphobic.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling — whose views on trans people have regularly been accused of aligning with trans-exclusionary radical feminism — also tweeted in support of Gray following her interview with Morgan.

In a recent interview with EW, five trans queens who competed among the cast of RuPaul's Drag Race season 14 spoke about the rise of anti-trans rhetoric when it comes to issues like equality in sports, society, and politics.

Related video: J.K. Rowling faces backlash after posting transphobic tweets

"There are a lot of places at stake right now more than ever, where they're trying to do little things that no one notices if you're not paying attention in the polls, if you're not paying attention in legislation," Kerri Colby said in the interview, which took place in June amid the controversial rise of Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law and Texas officials' recently suggested law that could ban children from attending family-friendly drag events. "You should not feel like walking out of your house and living is a privilege, and that you're lucky to get home without potentially being followed or being attacked…. I'm glad that we're able to use our platforms to not only bring awareness, but to kind of rile people up."

EW has reached out to representatives for Gray for further comment on her Piers Morgan Uncensored appearance. Watch a portion of the interview above.

Hear more on all of today's must-see picks on EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall.

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