Singer Katy Perry, who is no stranger to controversy with both the religious right and the LGBT community, is at it again. Now, instead of crooning about promiscuous lesbian fantasies or insulting an ex-boyfriend by insinuating he's gay, she seems to be picking on the gender non-conforming among us.
The folks at GLAAD caught wind of the offending tweet and grabbed a screenshot and then posted it on their blog.
The Tweet was from December 6 and reads: "http://twitpic.com/sdf45 - NSFW! I knew those little white last week of the birth control pills would still have an effect on your body! FU." (I'm just guessing here, but does FU mean "fucked up"?)
The link goes to a TwitPic photo (since removed by Perry) of a nude person who seems to present as male - has a beard, a hint of a mustache, a hairy chest and hairy shoulders - but also appears to have breasts and is wearing knee high rainbow stockings.
My thoughts and an archive of the image after the jump.
Is it transphobia though? I'd probably say it's more about what underlies a lot of transphobia - fear of those who don't conform to gender norms. It's more generic than transphobia, I think, because it seems Perry has a problem with gender non-conformity of all kinds (unless it's her fantasy of kissing a girl, natch.)
An interview with Perry by Zack at The New Gay seems to show she has a rather flat view of sexuality in general. She seems to brush off the controversy around her song, "UR So Gay (and You Don't Even Like Boys)" and doesn't understand how perpetuating stereotypes is, itself, harmful to LGBT issues.
Also, the joke itself doesn't exactly make sense to me. If Perry perceives a "man with breasts," why is a man taking birth control pills anyway? If she perceives a "woman with a beard and a hair chest," how does estrogen cause facial and body hair?
What is clear to me, however, is that no matter which of these constructions Perry sees in her mind, she thinks it's fucked up and that all of Twitter should know it. Either way, it's gender non-conformity that she's mocking. That, in my opinion, is far more fucked up than the image in that photo.
Here's an archive of the photo - click to view. [NSFW]
What do you think? We don't know how the person identifies, so is it transphobia or something more like gender bias? Let me know what you think in the comments.