As the “culture wars” around basic human rights for trans people continues, Kiss singer-guitarist Paul Stanley is sharing his thoughts on best-practice medical care for minors.
In a tweet on Sunday (April 30) titled “My Thoughts On What I’m Seeing,” Stanley wrote that he is concerned about children being given access to gender-affirming care. “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,” he wrote.
He added that adults “may decide reassignment is their needed choice,” but said that children should not be eligible for gender-affirming surgeries and procedures. “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 steps further down a path that’s far from the innocence of what they are doing,” he wrote.
Both the Endocrine Society and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health do not recommend gender-affirming surgical intervention before 18 years of age, unless the patient, their doctor and a mental health professional all agree that intervention is necessary.
Closing his statement, Stanley claimed that too many parents were confusing “teaching acceptance with normalizing and encouraging a situation that has been a struggle for those truly affected and have turned it into a sad and dangerous trend.”
Billboard has reached out to Stanley’s representatives for further comment from the guitarist and other members of Kiss.
The guitarist’s claims are part of an ongoing misinformation campaign regarding gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Multiple states have banned gender-affirming care for minors, claiming that “irreversible” healthcare affecting one’s gender shouldn’t be an option for those under the age of 18 — though some legislatures in Texas, Kansas and elsewhere have begun quietly attempting to raise that minimum age to 26.
While these claims about “irreversible” procedures are common, the facts show that they are largely false. In an interview with Billboard last year, Dr. Joshua D. Safer, MD, explained that the kind of surgeries many of these right-wing lawmakers and Stanley are concerned about are already “typically reserved for adults,” with only extraordinary cases requiring more immediate intervention. “Prior to any gender-affirming medical or surgical intervention, all minors must have an intake with a knowledgeable mental health provider internal to our system. Once deemed ready for a medical/surgical intervention, the processes we have for adults are then brought into play,” he said.
Stanley’s statement is also directly refuted by every major medical organization in the U.S., including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association, all of whom agree that gender-affirming care is not only not dangerous for trans youth, but in most cases, highly beneficial and life-saving.
Read Stanley’s full statement below: