Katy Perry Still Bad For Gays And Trans People, Always Will Be

This will be shocking, but – it appears that Katy Perry has said or done something that is deeply offensive to the queer community. I know! I know. What was it this time? In the print version of her Rolling Stone feature on her California Girls tour, Tomas Mournian reports on Queerty that Perry is quoted as saying “You can’t be a full tranny every day of the week… that’s an exaggerated part of my personality.” Yup! Those were words that her mouth formed!

Since the quote and its context are judiciously left out of the online version of the same feature, I was initially forced to analyze this situation based on what’s left, which is filled with gems like “When I was a kid, I asked questions about my faith. Now I’m asking questions about the world,” a tactful nod to the fact that Perry’s career began as a Christian singer with minister parents.

Luckily, my editor has a lot of magazine subscriptions, including Rolling Stone. Here is what the print magazine says (following a section where she talks about her husband’s former sex addiction and how he’s changed so much since then):

“…but what about that pic of her [Russel Brand] tweeted to the world, looking more or less like she looks right now? Wasn’t she pissed?

“I wasn’t pissed,” she says. “I mean, I can’t be a full tranny every day of the week. That’s an exaggerated part of my personality. It’s me hamming it up. The exterior me is a little bit more smiley than the interior me. So, that picture, it just shows that I’m a normal, everyday woman who has really big dreams. It gives encouragement to any girls out there that they, too, can be a larger-than-life cartoon.”

[my editor would also like to add that the quote “I can’t be a full tranny every day of the week. That’s an exaggerated part of my personality” is, in fact, the pullquote on page 74 of Rolling Stone, which means it’s in a larger font and the first clause is highlighted in yellow.]

Why would anyone use an outright slur so incredibly dismissive and offensive, especially when talking to a reporter for a nationally circulated magazine? (Sidenote: does Katy Perry know the difference between a trans woman and a drag queen?) That’s a good question. Probably the answer is the same as the answer to “why would you perform song lyrics like this?”

+ “Just wanna try you on/I’m curious for you”

+ “I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it.”

+ “It doesn’t matter/you’re my experimental game”

+ “It’s not what good girls do”

+ “You’re so gay”

+ “I hope you hang yourself with your H&M scarf”

+ “I can’t believe I fell in love with someone who wears more makeup than me”

So, to recap: maybe Katy Perry says things like this because she has zero concern for queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and non-gender conforming people! Perry has indeed released a song that she says is not only about fireworks, but about convincing gay kids not to commit suicide; the video features two boys kissing. The same song was recently used by Michele Bachmann, virulently anti-gay GOP candidate, on her campaign trail.  Bachmann claims to have virtually no knowledge of the song’s background, but somehow it seems fitting. Perry has been quoted as saying “I am a gay activist and I say that proudly. I voted no on Prop 8.” But Perry was also chastised by GLAAD for a tweet last year that openly mocked a trans man’s body, joking that it was a medically induced deformity:

In the end, Perry’s success as a hugely popular mainstream star stems from her enthusiastic embrace of norms of gender and sex; the integrity of her brand requires her to be at best dismissive of difference in gender presentation and sexual orientation, and at worst insulting towards it. Another interesting quote from her Rolling Stone piece is as follows:

“I think we are largely in desperate need of revolutionary change in the way our mindset is. Our priority is fame, and people’s wellness is way low. I saw this knowing full well that I’m a part of the problem. I’m playing the game… though I am trying to reroute. Anyway, not to get all politically divulging and introspective, but the fact that America doesn’t have free health care drives me fucking absolutely crazy, and is so wrong.”

Perry’s entire career is based on complicity with dominant values, especially surrounding gender and bodies; from her days as a Christian singer with a veneer of wide-eyed naivete to her current sex symbol status. Holding out any hope for her to support alternative expressions of those categories is almost certainly wasted energy. Katy Perry isn’t going to start actually caring about queer or trans people; the rest of us should just stop being surprised.

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1086 articles for us.

106 Comments

    • edit: My general sense is that Katy Perry isn’t actually filled with hate, but is probs just kind of self absorbed and needs a new PR person. Also, she’s kind of stupid.

    • Agreed. I dont have any prefferences towards the woman or her music. But i rememeber hearing that song when it first came out and identifying with it. Most lesbians wont get the content. Lol me being pans i know what its about. Its about falling for a man who is a closet gay and distences himself from you because he is but wont admit it till he hurts you in the relationship and its over. Im sure you would understand it if you thought about a bi woman youve dated who left you for a man. Same concept. But as far as the tranny coment maybe she really feels that way. Who am I to judge. Maybe thats the only way she can express how she feels. Just saying before we jump all over the gal have some perspective. At least shes not talking about dragging people into the woods and shit like some other artists who have admitted they dislike the gay comunnity and hurl insults. Just sayin. Before you make an inch a mile think about the fact that you dont even know the woman. You weren’t there. You didnt ask her to expound on her previous comment. You really just have a thumble full if that of information and your acting as if you know what its made up of in its intirety. Not to mention does anyone else find these celebrity riots a bit dull? They’re human beings for god sakes. Why do we get the benifit of being a jackass and they dont? Let her do her own life the way she can. Let her cope and move on. And dont buy, read, watch anything of hers if you dont like her. Dear lord. It sometimes seams to me some people have nothing better to do than look for reasons to hate people or things. We are all one. Show some positive. Show some love. I find that far more interesting.

      • Agreed. If people recorded everyone’s words as often as they record a celebrity’s words, how many of us would be called out on things we said that offended somebody? It is so, so easy to say something stupid or hurtful without meaning to. The less time you have to think about what you’re saying, the more likely it is to happen. Have a little compassion.

        As for the You’re so Gay song, I saw a friend go through serious heartbreak after dating a guy exactly like the one in that song. I can absolutely see where she’s coming from, and it’s not a place of hate, it’s a place of hurt.

  1. agreed. i think she is just speaking from a place of ignorance, and far too self absorbed to realize she’s embarrassing herself. unfortunately, i doubt most readers will even give the quote a second thought, or find it at all offensive.

  2. It continually surprises me how many people use ‘tranny’ in that way. I always wonder how much accountability we should assume people have here… I think saying ‘That’s gay’ or the ‘R’ word have now made their way to the ‘unacceptable’ side of public discourse… and therefore have 0 tolerance when I hear it. But saying tranny like that… I really just shake my head at society’s ignorance as a whole… the thing is, I’m sure she does see herself as a gay activist/icon a la Gaga, and literally has no idea what she could have possibly said. Just like so many people who think they’re all for gay rights and then say and do the stupidest shit.

    • I think a lot of people consider themselves LGBT allies because that’s the acronym, but don’t think about what it means to support each of the individual letter’s unique issues, especially the T part. They just think of it as a shorthand for “gay dudes, maybe lesbians” and continue to talk about “trannies” and denigrate trans bodies.

  3. It pains me to have her say stuff like this about transgenders. Especially transgenders, being such a misunderstood group in society already, derogatory shit like this is just another rock being added to the heap of crap that’s already there. Especially that tweet, that’s straightaway toxic.

    And on a personal level:
    Yeah Katy Perry, thanks a lot for deepening bisexual stereotypes. I kiss girls too, and yes, I like it a lot. But for wholly different reasons, thank you very much. And thanks to shit like that song of yours, I have trouble getting my sexual orientation across as genuine. And no, I’m not getting on my ‘boohoo, life’s so hard as a bisexual’-horse. I’m just a bit fed up with having to ‘validate’ my identity on both sides of the sexual orientation spectrum. And shit like this is NOT. HELPING.

    Then again, it could it be that she never encountered sources like Autostraddle, to introduce her to the whole queer world as it really is. Maybe she lacks that sort of perspective? My (sweet, gentle, educated) friends didn’t know what (for example) heteronormativity was until I got on my high horse one night. She might just be very ignorant. Yet, it hurts and she should get herself a bloody education pronto, seeing that she considers herself a LGBT-activist.

    • Damn, you beat me to it. I was going to bring up the bisexual-as-a-tittilation thing, too.

      It pisses me off when someone this brainless and this useless calls herself an activist. Just because you aren’t homophobic, doesn’t mean you’re an activist. Join a parade, speak publically and independently against homophobia. Be as active as freakin’ Gaga before you can claim the same honoured distinction.

      I hate Perry, and I’m glad AS has shone light on the proper reason why.

      • Educate yourself, before calling yourself an activist. And she probably missed the boat on that one. Genuine interest in and care for the queer community just wouldn’t have ‘tranny’-remarks and songs that are degrading to bisexuals as an output.

      • THIS. Completely what I was thinking while reading this and the comments. There’s a big difference between being an ally / activist and just being OK with something.

        If supporting or voting for different issues makes me an activist then I am a lot more political and much more of an activist than I originally thought.

      • i almost added that to rachel’s post when i was looking at this last night and then i realized how brilliant it was that rachel managed to make her case without even involving The Song That Started it All, which to many is still her gravest offense.

    • Speaking of education Paloma, “transgenders” however its use was intended, isn’t okay. Transgender isn’t a noun. Trans persons aren’t ‘a transgender’ just as someone isn’t “a black”. Transgender people, trans man, trans woman, trans folk… good… transgenders… not okay.

      • I don’t want to speak for Paloma, but it seems to me her use of the word as a noun may just be a linguistics (rather than conceptual) issue. A lot of languages allow for this type of adjective-as-a-noun language formation where English doesn’t. Maybe no deeper meaning is meant…

      • @ginasf: Thanks a lot for correcting/educating me. 🙂 The ‘blacks’-comparison is crystal clear. I’m indeed not a native speaker of the English language. However, I’m happy/grateful to have learned something that helps me curb the occurrence of unintended insults.

  4. Forgive me if this is ignorant – or maybe I don’t get it because I don’t take birth control – but can someone explain what the tweet is about? I read the other link to no avail. Did the picture have a lot to do with it? I don’t see the connection… I wanna be educated! Help!

  5. Oh dear. I feel like I’m going to be rained down by criticism, but – this article aside, and honey they have a name for what you’re trying to express, it’s “female drag queen”, look it up sometime – I don’t necessarily think that I Kissed A Girl is queerphobic.

    There are people who are sexually fluid and who like to play around with people physically and sexually without necessarily ascribing some sort of identity to it. And it can be fun & also scary to experiment with something that society says is taboo (zomg kissing the same sex!! onoes) and yet is also exciting in its own way – without needing to make a commitment to being bisexual forever and ever. I feel that the song speaks to a specific kind of experience that I’ve gone through, that I know people have gone through, that doesn’t necessarily reflect queer struggle but *doesn’t have to* – and that saying it’s biphobic or homophobic may be erasing experiences of people who have tried it out to see if they liked it, erased experiences of early experimentation, of just being sexually fluid and non-specific. If that makes sense.

    (Also, that was the song that spurred me into actually dealing with my sexuality instead of just putting it aside because I happened to find the love of my life the first time around and he was a typical straight cis guy. If it wasn’t for that song I’d probably still be living the life of “oh yeah i’m queer, doesn’t matter that i never had a chance to kiss a girl let alone do anything else, LIFELONG MONOGAMY IS AWESOME RIGHT” which turned out to be really painful. so i have a soft spot for the song.)

    • No, you’re right, that’s a perfectly acceptable experience. However, I DOUBT that Katy was being that aware or informed, much like the majority of the demographic that don’t understand the difference between casual bicuriosity (for lack of a better term) and legitimate bisexuality.

      I’ve never kissed a girl based on the principles Katy so blatantly mocks in her song. I’d never kiss a girl because I was drunk, or because I was “curious”, or to get attention. Everytime I hear that song, I get so pissed off because it seems to cheapen and make a mockery of someone with my genuine attraction and principles.

      • But some people have kissed girls because they were drunk, or curious, or to seek attention – and I don’t think any of those are necessarily bad. It shouldn’t be the fault of the kissers that there are people out there who will find any reason to discredit the experiences of those with non-normative sexualities.

        Kiss a girl for whatever reason you want – no one should have to give you shit for it, whether straight or gay.

        (also, I HATE how “attention-seeking” has become an insult or derogatory, and I always took “I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it” to be sardonic.)

        • That’s not the way I interpreted the song, but then again, anytime the word “bisexual” comes up around me (especially when people didn’t know about me), it has always been followed with: “She’s doing it for attention” or “Pfft, yeah, whatever, it’s so trendy to be gay.” or “But she’s dating a guy!” It has never *ever* been accepted as a legitimate sexuality different than monosexuality. So, yeah, I have a lot of resentment towards Katy Perry broadcasting that tired-tale around the world.

          I think until there are more fair and honest representations of bisexuals in the media, then things like this can be excused, but this is all we get – the “curious” girls, or the ones who switch back to a guy the moment something goes wrong with a girl.

          All the same, Tiara, I don’t want to belittle or be patronizing towards you because of how *I* perceived the song. I respect you, so I hope you didn’t view this as an attack to how you live. You do you!

          • Hey, as a mostly-lesbian who’s in a long-term relationship with a guy, I get the frustration. However, I get more shit from people who would be the sort to decry Katy Perry than from anyone who likes the song, so I’m not too fussed about her 😛

          • lol Sounds like me. Off-topic, I’m in awe of your ability to have your cake and eat it too. I am one of those “Monogamy for life!” people so this whole coming-out thing has been interesting…

        • The part that really gets me is the line “It’s not what good girls do.”

          Apparently, according to Katy Perry, it doesn’t matter if you’re doing it because you’re drunk or you’re curious or you want to attract the male gaze or you’re so so in love or kissing is fun, etc., it’s never really ok, no matter how much you like it. And that I can’t forgive.

    • I had a very similar experience to that song. While we both considered ourselves straight, I had been ‘with’ my best friend, emotionally, physically, and secretly, for the better part of 4 years before that song came out.
      When it did, I couldn’t hear all the lyrics, I just heard “I kissed a girl and I liked it,” and went, ‘HEY! I DID TOO!’ While things with the bffl were complicated at best, it opened the door a smidge for me to peek through and see that I did enjoy kissing girls, and maybe it was okay to talk about it.
      Of course I don’t agree with all the lyrics, but the idea of it being an innocent thing crossed my 16 year old mind all those years ago.

    • I totally agree with you. Not to defend her, but imo she was trying to refer to “dressing up in drag daily” rather than anything else. Instead, she used two loaded terms interchangeably.

      Also, I was never threatened by “I Kissed a Girl” because guess what, my ex-boyfriend didn’t like it, either.
      My ex-boyfriends still don’t like it (being a lesbian, that is, not cheating or something!).
      The people who interpret this song by dismissing bisexuality as promiscuous or wrongly guided are the same people who dismiss homosexuality as the same, with or without lyrics.

      Either way, I’ve never been a fan of Katy Perry. Meh.

    • THIS.
      Female drag queen, otherwise known as a faux queen. A type of gender performance.

      I really don’t think these faux pas come from a malicious place, I think she’s really just that clueless and ignorant. She wants to be part of/adjacent to the queer community but lacks the requisite knowledge. She’s a poser. Girl needs to enroll in Gender Studies 101.

      That said, I still love her for trying. Hopefully, she’ll learn and grow and be better, which is all any of us can strive for!

  6. Katy Perry was brainwashed all her life by her religious upbringing (hello, speaking from experience here) and now she’s brainwashed by the industry to which she claims to have sold her soul.

    If you’re in to conspiracy theories (someone I’m dating is), there’s Illuminati symbolism in a lot of her songs/videos/pics, and she talks about selling her soul in an interview, which everyone thinks is a euphemism but is probably not.

    I think two brainwashings in one lifetime renders useless one’s ability to have intelligent interviews. Interestingly enough, one can still write damn catchy pop tunes.

  7. Her words are indefensible, but criticizing her gender (i.e. high femme femininity) is a low blow. Her “enthusiastic embrace of norms of gender and sex” may not be relatable to many queer people, but ideally, we should make room for everyone’s gender presentation and sexuality, regardless of what we envision for ourselves.

    • I agree. She is ultra femme. Is that wrong? Or is it only wrong in the context of her comments towards transgender people? Because as a casual observer (and secret brush-as-a-mic performer in my bedroom) of her songs and career, I never got the sense that she was embracing gender norms anymore than anyone else in pop culture.

  8. So…. Am I the only one that thinks Katy Perry’s act/performance is making a mockery of established sex and gender roles? That’s one of the reasons why I, to be honest, really enjoy some of her work. Well….I do find that tweet to lack judgement.

    Am I taking crazy pills??

    *hides from tomato throwing*

        • Yeah, I can’t help wondering if what I see as her great sense of humor (very subversive humor) is going over the heads of some of her critics. Just because she poses like many people’s stereotype of a “pretty and dumb girl” doesn’t mean she actually is dumb, or deserves to be torn down. Her performance and image is often so over the top and tongue-in-cheek, it cracks me up.

          I’m an artist (of the visual sort) myself so maybe I just have a tendency to look at things from a particular angle. A too informed angle. 🙂

          • I think her over-the-top act is a cartoony satire of being sexual, but I’ve never found it to be deeper than “LOOK I’M A SEXUALIZED TOY!! HAHAHA LOOK AT ALL MY BRIGHT COLOURS AND ZANY CLOTHES!!”

          • this is how I always perceived katy perry too. she seemed over-the-top in a mocking sort of way. you can’t dismiss the ignorant comments she’s made, but I don’t find her general persona insulting. It always felt silly/simple/intentional.

        • Does it even matter or not what her intentions are regarding her use of gender, particularly high femininity, in her performances?

          I think the way some of us interpret her is more important and I agree with Alyssa. Madonna and Marilyn Monroe and Britney Spears have all done the same thing before her (albeit better).

  9. Hey Rachel-

    Thanks for cross-posting the Katy Perry queerty piece (on queerty, herehttp://www.queerty.com/katy-perry-part-time-tranny-full-time-bimbo-20110706/).

    It’s great to see you pick up on my work! I noticed the Katy Perry pull quotes last week, and then looked at the earlier, on-line version on Rolling Stone.

    What actually happens is that Rolling Stone posts an entire piece for a brief period of time, and then reposts the piece in snippet form.

    The Queerty Katy Perry piece was referring to the original, full-length on-line Rolling Stone version.

    Tomas Mournian

    • “Thanks for cross-posting the Katy Perry queerty piece (on queerty, herehttp://www.queerty.com/katy-perry-part-time-tranny-full-time-bimbo-20110706/).
      It’s great to see you pick up on my work! I noticed the Katy Perry pull quotes last week, and then looked at the earlier, on-line version on Rolling Stone.”

      Is this a sarcastic accusation of plagiarism? Or at least of aping his idea? Idk, the tone and the words are confusing my literal-thinking brain.

      • I assumed Queerty left the troll gate open and a fantroll got out.

        I didn’t think a published author who thought their work was plagiarized would handle it via condescending / passive-aggressive comment. First, Thomas would know it’s not plagiarism. If there was an issue, even I would know to take it up with the Rachel (the author) and not the comments–and I don’t write for a living.

        Even trolls who know how to spell are trolls.

  10. This is not to support Katy Perry’s use of “tranny” in any way because, personally, I think only trans women and trans feminine people have a right to use it since they’re the one’s who are involuntarily third gendered, and insulted with it (even when cis-women are insulted with the term, tranny is used to mean ‘ugly, mannish-looking and trashy like trans feminine spectrum people.’

    But I do think it’s a bit disingenuous to pile on her yet not complain about people like like S. Bear Bergman (a butch genderqueer) who make a big stink about his right to reclaim tranny in the new Gender Outlaws book when it’s clearly not his term to reclaim. Moreover, there are a lot of FAAB queer people (like Mr. Murray Hill and Lynn Breedlove) who make a BIIIG stink about their right to use that term even though it’s never been used to oppress them. Moreover, many gay men have a repeated history of throwing “tranny” around even to refer to all trans women (many of whom feel victimized by the term) and continue to use it no matter what concerns are voiced. How about those people?

    So I wonder, how much of this is about her using “tranny” and how much is really about still being pissed about “I kissed a girl”?

  11. As a bisexual woman and someone with a lot of queer friends, I am insulted every time I am made to listened to her music. We already have people like Lady Gaga, I fail to understand why KP was ever given a record deal.,

  12. I dated a girl named Katy Perry. She was nothing like the singer. Every bar we went to all the bouncers would ask her “so you kissed a girl, huh?” Because, you know, we were holding hands. I listened to Katy Perry songs and they made me smile like a rubbery fool. Then my Katy Perry broke my little heart. Now whenever that dumb bitch comes on the radio (and it is all the effing time) it is all I can do not to punch my radio in the face.

  13. The Rolling Stone comment isn’t that bad, in my opinion. I’m more bothered by her song that repeats over and over “You’re so gay and you don’t even like boys.” I mean, to some extent I know good, gay-supportive people make comments that may be slightly inconsiderate or can be taken a not-so-great way. But has Katy Perry done anything to support the gay community? Has she spoken out against homophobia or spoke in support of the gay community? I’m willing to give her a chance on this.

    I always thought her song Firework was about gay kids in the closet during high school, personally. But maybe I’m projecting? The lyrics match so perfect.

  14. I gag every time I see or hear this woman. She just makes me cringe. I agree the “Your so gay” song is her biggest offense. She even used it recently to try to insult a former crush of hers, which shows she did intend the word gay to be an insult. She really needs to go away.

  15. BTW, I do think Katy Pretty dresses like a drag queen. I’m pretty sure I’ve said that out loud to people before. Was that the offensive part of what she said? Is what I just said offensive? Or was it distinctly her use of the word “tranny?” I just wouldn’t have looked at her comment and thought it was offensive without seeing this post.

    • “Tranny” is a slur generally directed towards trans folk, especially trans women. What’s offensive is that she used an anti-trans slur and also confused being a trans woman with being a drag queen, suggesting that trans women’s genders are a “performance” (not in the Judith Butler sense) that they put on, and are basically just men wearing costumes.

      At least that’s how I read the situation.

      • Oh, I guess that makes sense. But I honestly didn’t really think about it that way or was actively aware of the distinction. Now that you mention it, I get it. But that just didn’t register with me at all. I have to guess Katy Perry is just ignorant and maybe insensitive, but not hateful. There’s no depth in anything she says or does, I try not to take her seriously, but “Ur So Gay” still bugs me. And the sad thing is, I actually think the song is pretty catchy except for the “gay as an insult” thing. Bummer.

  16. I’m not even understanding the quote itself. “I can’t be a full tranny every day of the week”?? What…is she even trying to say?

    smh. can we stop like, putting her in out and the advocate and stuff now? please?

  17. so like, she is ridiculous, AGREED. and also offensive, obvs.

    however? i actually read that quote IN rolling stone (embarrassing!/really dumb magazine) and the first thing i thought was along the lines of “oh, that’s funny that she’s so self aware in an insane way.” like, she herself is actually proving with her words that she is “performing” her gender as much as anyone else whose “performance” might be more obviously that (like a drag queen, which might have been a slightly more approp comparison).

    and, as k p probably knows, my guess is that any kind of bubblegum sexy pop stuff like this probably has some connection via artistic influence TO GAY STUFF ORIGINALLY. like, the gays did it first, then the pop girls. there is a post today i think about something like this on ironing boardcollective.com.

    so basically my feelings are, yes it’s bad but i just don’t feel anything emotionally about that. i have absolutely no expectation ever that pop stars will be responsible, and am not entirely convinced they should be. the only way for me to feel anything about katy perry is to be like “oh, that’s funny and interesting, she’s crazy and knows what she is.”

  18. Basically, she’s irritating. Her songs are AT BEST, tolerable. She has no sense of what’s appropriate to say at what time. And it’s not in a charming, “oh, I’m just being me!” kind of way. It’s in a “I don’t know and I don’t care to learn” way. She has virtually no talent, and her cartoon get-ups are going to stop distracting her fans from that blatant fact fairly soon. I’m not so audacious to say that if I don’t like an artist, he/she must be bad. However, this article and all of the idiotic things she says only shows me that her verbal diarrhea is not just annoying, but harmful. She needs to mature the fuck up, and quickly.

  19. I think he was just saying that it wasn’t the print version he pulled from, but an earlier online version with those quotes in it. (Though I was confused too at first, haha)

  20. Katy Perry is now claiming that she’s an LGBT ally because it’s currently the fashionable thing for pop stars to do, largely because of the efforts of actual, committed allies and out folks in the entertainment industry. “Fireworks” was billed as a defense of gay teens well after it was written, recorded, and adapted into a video because it made for good press after her numerous snafus. Not two months earlier, Perry dedicated the song “You’re So Gay” to a boy who refused to date her in high school as an attempt to public shame him. She’s part of the problem, and no amount of opportunistic profiteering and posturing will change that anytime soon. I’m sure she’ll be calling herself a trans ally in a month or so when she realizes what the “T” stands for in “LGBT Ally.”

    I appreciate that folks here are willing to give her a generous read, mostly because it speaks to what I like about the commenting community here. Yes, if we want to read her as self-consciously performing high femme, then it’s interesting *(if tedious) that she continued the trend of popstars appropriating/depoliticizing/decontextualziing/profiting from queer aesthetics. But really, the bottom line is that Perry’s music has been consistently homophobic (either blatantly or by unfortunate implication, depending on your ability to look the other way) and about reinforcing gender norms in petty, snide, retrogressive ways. She’s simply not worth defending, and this article is right to call her out on her bullshit.

  21. You can’t tell me that your straight friends don’t joke about your sexuality. You can’t tell me that you don’t joke about your own sexuality.

    I can’t believe that Autostraddle is even publishing this article. It’s sort of out of place.

    There are tons of gay people that make fun of their own orientation. Honestly, I think she’s making it okay to be gay by acknowledging us in songs, music videos.

    Also, don’t you think that Katy has progressed? She’s the daughter of a minister! I think it’s pretty fucking cool of her to put gay people in her music videos.

    I think the best way to discuss these types of issues is through comedy. She’s mos def a comedian!

  22. Oh. I didn’t know there was a term for that. Thank you. That’s going to make it easier to explain my gender presentation and get yelled at less. I’m going to go and share that with my friends who are the same way.

  23. Back in 2008 Katy Perry used to make vlogs and there was a one of her and her best friend (who is gay) both using the line “tranny fierce”.
    If you’re going to criticize her based on that RS article then you may have noticed that the whole article makes her look like an oblivious dumbass. Thats primarily the “journalist’s” fault – he spent half a page explaining how much make-up she puts on for one concert. The whole article is made up of quotes and anecdotes that occurred at least 6 months ago.
    I’m certainly not condoning her use of this word and I even cringed when I read it in print – but just cause she used a derogatory slang term and people still interpret two songs of hers, that are from 2008, as derogatory doesn’t mean she’s bad for the LGBT community and always will be.

  24. I’m also confused. Cross-posting implies a nearly word-for-word copying of the original on another site. Rachel gave linked credit for where she originally saw it reported and used the same interview quote in another paragraph. Beyond that, I’m not seeing a similarity here.

  25. I saw a commercial that she does for Proactiv last night…and realised that we can’t kick her too much. Remember she isn’t very educated. She was raised by insanely religious parents and took the GED to get out of high school. And the GED is so easy a donkey could do it. She hasn’t gone to college…and I highly doubt there is any advanced reading about sexual theory going on in her tour bus. Plus she also married Russell Brand after a month. If that doesn’t prove she is kind of dull I don’t know what does.

  26. Pingback: Katy Perry … | dichotomy

  27. hold it hold it hold it.
    i don’t think she means to be that way.
    her BEST FRIEND is a GAY.
    Katy doesn’t mean to offend anyone.
    it’s like i would say “that’s so gay” and im a lesbian.
    using that term is not meaning i’m dissing gays, it’s a word that has become a meaning to something we are all familiar with.
    kinda sounds hypocritical but i don’t find it offensive.

  28. How is this offensive? By “tranny”, she means transvestite, not transgendered. She’s making fun of herself for dressing up. Take a chill pill and re-watch “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”.

  29. Not justifying her comment, but this is Rolling Stone. It wouldn’t surprise me if she did mean Drag. The only time this magazine is relevant is when they have something controversial on the cover or a sensational story. You think the magazine does features artist for the GOOD of the GLBTI? (All the covers are all T&A)

  30. katy perry is my fav. singer so i dont say anything bab about her because she’s the reason i write songs so she’s not bad she’s great but its kinof true katy should just stop the bad words she says in her songs and the other things i love her but she just has to be a little more ligter on her work you know step in to some flowers and grass

  31. Pingback: Katy Perry Perplexingly Honored By Trevor Project For LGBTQ Visibility, I Hope Her Boyfriend Don't Mind It : The Qu

  32. Pingback: Album Review: Katy Perry – “Teenage Dream” (2010) | Vintage Music Review

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.