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Macy Gray criticised over transphobic remarks on sex and gender

The singer joined Piers Morgan for a conversation on women and gender.

2022-07-05

Words: Alastair James; pictures: TalkTV

The 'I Try' singer, Macy Gray, has been criticised for transphobic remarks after discussing sex, gender, and pronouns in a recent TV interview.

On Monday (4 July) Gray joined controversialist Piers Morgan on his TalkTV show Piers Morgan Uncensored where she was asked about trans people.

Morgan, 57, commented on the backlash experienced by Hocus Pocus actress Bette Midler to recent comments of hers about women.

"We’re in an era now basically where most public figures are too terrified to even say what they think a woman is," Morgan is quoted as saying to which Gray replies, "I know". 

Gray then defines a woman as "a human being with boobs. You have to start there. And a vagina!"

Turning to the subject of trans people competing in sports Morgan states that he supports "all trans rights to fairness and equality" but not when people who he says are born with "obvious physical superior bodies," "thrashing" women in sport. 

Gray agrees on both points.

She then says, "I will say this and everyone’s gonna hate me but as a woman, just because you go change your parts, doesn’t make you a woman, sorry.

"I know that for a fact. Like if you want me to call you a her, I will, ‘cause that’s what you want, but that doesn’t make you a woman just ‘cause I call you a her and just because you got a surgery."

Gray goes on to say that women "go through completely unique experience and surgery or finding yourself doesn’t change that". 

When Morgan suggests Gray may be labelled "transphobic" for her views the singer says: "But it’s the truth."

Following Gray's comments Mighty Hoopla - where Gray performed twice at the 2022 event - put out a statement distancing themselves from the singer.

They say they're "extremely disappointed" with Gray's remarks and clarify that they don't agree with her "insensitive and transphobic statement" before affirming that "Mighty Hoopla will always stand with our trans family". 

One person tweeted: "what is it about “womanhood” that TERFs like macy gray and bette midler are so desperate to cling to? trans women existing doesn’t make me any less of a woman, no matter how different our experiences may be. it’s just ridiculous at its core honestly."

While trans broadcaster, India Willoughby commented that it was "Sad and desperate," adding "This is why it’s virtually impossible for anyone trans to work in British media. Easy to dehumanise a group when they’re not represented in the office."

In subsequent tweets, Macy Gray says "there is no bigger admirer of lgbt community than your truly," and that "i wasn't defining trans women. just women. because i know what it means to be one. i don't know what it means to be a trans woman and never said i did."

Meanwhile, JK Rowling, someone who has become known for her comments on sex and gender over the last few years tweeted in support of Gray and that: "Today feels like a good day to ensure I’ve bought @MacyGraysLife ’s entire back catalogue"

The Attitude July/August issue is out now.