I know it’s only March, but I think I may well have founder the winner of the “Dumbest Tweet of 2019”. In celebration of International Women’s Day, Alyssa Milano tweeted, “My transgender sisters! I am celebrating YOU this #NationalWomensDay!” However, when she was then asked if she herself was transgender—she replied:
Milano’s response sent everyone, especially the LGBTIQ community, into a meltdown. Out magazine ran an article with the headline, “Alyssa Milano says ‘I’m Trans’ Is Not Trans’. They then proceeded to condemn her comments stating:
Either Milano didn’t realize how potentially cringey (sic) this statement was, or she was just hoping to become a meme, because … she did.
While Milano seemingly intended to celebrate International Women’s Day by aligning herself with those of more marginalized identities than hers, she clearly didn’t think her statement all the way through, and has since then issued “an apology.”
“I’m glad this tweet invoked conversation. I’m so sorry it offended some. I see you and hear you,” the actress followed up on Saturday. “But just a reminder, empathy is not a bad thing. Nuance is important and literal interpretation is not always intended. And I can identify with and not identify as. Both are powerful.” Milano also explained that her initial tweet was inspired by Persian poet Jalaluddin Rumi, who said, “This is a subtle truth. Whatever you love, you are.”
Interesting that she decided to apologize by doubling down on her initial statement, further proving a complete lack of awareness about intersectionality. Nice one, Scarlett Johansson.
It’s especially strange that Milano should affirm the words of the thirteenth-century poet Rumi since he was a devout Muslim and would have been completely opposed to his words being understood in any such way. Rob Gavagan went even further tweeting:
This is how strange and confusing things have become. Even when people like Milano are trying to virtue signal they trip over their own self-righteousness because everything from sexuality, race, gender and even disability is fluid. As Out magazine reported Twitter user, Zellie, as saying:
Too true. What’s more, as many others have pointed out, I wonder if Milano would also be prepared to identify as a straight, white, conservative, able-bodied American Christian? Almost definitely not. But if you’re thinking of something else from an episode involving Ralph in The Simpsons, then you’re definitely not alone:
So, sorry Alyssa, you can’t be everything you want to do. For even the rainbow spectrum of the LGBTIQ has its limits.
Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.
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