Dee Snider Issues Statement After Split With SF Pride Parade
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the SF Pride Parade had decided to distance themselves from Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider after the musician had positively responded to a tweet that Paul Stanley had written expressing his views on what he viewed as the "sad and dangerous fad" of parents imposing gender-affirming care on minors. Snider, who has long been an LGBTQIA+ ally, has now responded to the missed opportunity and the backlash that's come out as a response.
In a post titled, "So, I hear I'm transphobic. Really?," the Twisted Sister vocalist addresses the move and shares his side of what happened.
"Why did the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade invite me, Dee Snider to be a Grand Marshal in their parade and sing 'We're Not Gonna Take It' on the center stage at what could possibly be the most important LGBTQIA+ gathering in the organization's long history," asked the singer, then answering, "To quote Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle's senior political writer, '...Dee Snider [is] a longtime supporter of LGBTQ rights...' I have ALWAYS stood with the community and its important causes. I was honored to accept the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade's invitation and I even gave my blessing for 'We're Not Gonna Take It' to be used as this year's battle cry ['Queer Not Gonna Take It!')."
"Is that transphobic," he continues. "I was not aware the Transgender community expects fealty and total agreement with all their beliefs and any variation or deviation is considered 'transphobic.' So, my lifetime of supporting the Transgender community's right to identify as they want and honoring whatever changes they may make in how they present themselves to the world isn't enough? Why not?"
Sharing his viewpoint, Snider explains, "I've recently stated I do not believe young children are ready to decide their gender allocation. I believe their choices should be supported and accepted by their parents, but I do not think kids have the mental capabilities to make rational, logical decisions on things of a magnitude that will affect them for the rest of their lives. I do not believe they are mentally developed enough."
Backing up his point, he adds, "Dr. Jennifer Katzenstein [director of psychology, neuropsychology and social work, and co- director of the Center for Behavioral Health at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital] says, '...it is important for parents to remember that development varies across children, and that one age (such as age 7) is not the end of development, or a 'deadline for developing reasoning skills.' Cognitive development continues into adulthood, and as parents, it is our responsibility to continue to challenge and support our children.'" Well said. It's just good parenting."
Snider continued with a plea to the Transgender community, "I am a proud moderate. I drive a Tesla and a Hummer. I have too many guns but strongly support intelligent gun control. I have four children yet fight for a woman's right to choose. I am a motorcycle riding environmentalist. I am a heterosexual who proudly supports LBGTQIA+ rights. To me (and I believe to many of you) none of these things are mutually exclusive. The Transgender community needs moderates who support their choices, even if we don't agree with every one of their edicts. For some Transgender people (not all) to accuse supporters, like me, of transphobia is not a good look for their cause. Don't reject people who are willing to march, sing and stand with you just because we don't perfectly see eye-to-eye. We are still your allies."
"I. Dee Snider, will continue to support the Transgender community and their right to choose even if they reject me and moving forward, I am open to educating myself so I can be a better ally. Sincerely, Dee Snider Your cisgender, crossdressing ally," he signed off.
READ MORE: Dee Snider Explains Why Twisted Sister Will Reunite Again in 2024
Why Did SF Pride Initially Distance Themselves From Dee Snider?
The divide between SF Pride and Dee Snider was related to the musician commenting on Paul Stanley's commentary about gender-affirming transformation amongst minors.
The KISS co-founder 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."
He added, "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 … down a path that's far from the innocence of what they are doing."
Stanley said, "Children who have no real sense of sexuality or sexual experiences [get] 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 [has] turned it into a sad and dangerous fad."
In response, Snider commented, "You know what? There was a time where I 'felt pretty' too. Glad my parents didn't jump to any rash conclusions! Well said, @PaulStanleyLive."
Stanley's initial comments drew a mix of support and criticism for the views expressed, with the KISS vocalist eventually clarifying his support for those transitioning and revealing that his words were not clearly interpreted by all, adding that a more nuanced conversation was more likely needed in a platform beyond "a paragraph or two."
As for Snider, the SF Pride organization said in their statement while withdrawing their parade invite to Snider, "When we were notified about the tweet in which Dee expressed support for KISS’s Paul Stanley’s transphobic statement, we were heartbroken and angry. The message perpetuated by that tweet casts doubt on young trans people’s ability to self-identify their gender.".
"Transgender people, particularly transgender women and children of color, are disproportionately affected by hate and violence. And with transphobia proliferating and becoming more and more enshrined in law throughout the country — we have to stand up for the most impacted among us," they added.
"We have mutually agreed to part ways, but appreciate Dee seeing this as a teachable moment and a reminder that even allies need to be educated to ensure that they are not casually promoting transphobia. To all our allies — we want to call you in — not call you out."
Snider did later reveal that he was surprised to find out that the discussion had with the Gay Pride Parade leader was later made public. "I spoked directly with the Gay Pride Parade leader and we mutually agreed to part company," explained the singer on Twitter. "As it hadn't been announced, I figured this would be between us and left at that. They decided to go public with the fact that I had been removed from something that was never announce."
SF Pride Parade Offers New Statements
“Don’t get it ‘twisted,’ Dee Snider was not dropped from this year’s San Francisco Pride celebration; it was a mutual decision after a productive, educational conversation with him,” said Nguyen Pham, President, SF Pride.
“Like any ally, we’re glad that Dee wants to continue learning about the issues that affect the transgender community. As a trans woman, I can tell you that no two stories are alike – this isn’t a black and white conversation, which is why educating the public is so critical. By donating to SF Pride, you’re creating a safer space for that scared trans child who was brave enough to stand up and tell the world who they really are - receiving the support they need from their parents, a medical professional, and their community.” added Suzanne Ford, Executive Director, SF Pride.
San Francisco's annual Pride Parade is scheduled for June 23. Donations may be made here.