Barry Humphries–better known as his drag alter ego Dame Edna–has refused to apologize for comments he made about transgender people, even after a public backlash.
Humphries, who began performing as Dame Edna in the 1950s, claims comments he made in 2016 deriding transgender women were misinterpreted, though he did not offer further clarification. “Nothing has been more grotesquely interpreted,” Humphries told The Sunday Times Magazine. “Edna carefully said she thought that men who had themselves castrated did not become women, and that got taken the wrong way.”
Related: So Long Possums! Dame Edna Everage Hangs Up Her Glasses And Heels
The defense came in regards to a 2016 interview in which Humphries–in his Dame Edna persona–agreed with Australian writer Germane Greer that transgender women are merely castrated men. “I agree with Germaine,” Humphries said at the time. “You’re a mutilated man, that’s all. Self-mutilation, what’s all this carry on? Caitlyn Jenner—what a publicity-seeking ratbag.”
In a 2018 interview, he described transgenderism as “a fashion,” further elaborating “how many different kinds of lavatory can you have? And it’s pretty evil when it’s preached to children by crazy teachers.” He also commended Donald Trump for “stirring up politics.”
Despite the controversy, the 85-year-old Humphries has announced that Dame Edna will come out of retirement later this year for a new tour.
Wow, it’s still alive?
That’s not exactly surprising. She made some racists comments about latinos not so long ago.
Trans women are not women, they are trans women. Denying this is denying very obvious facts and puts us in a position of having to defend something that just isn’t true, which I will not do. It is what it is, and it isn’t what it isn’t. His comments were crass, and insulting, but not technically incorrect.
I am not confident about the supposed science between body dysphoria and the gender reassignment treatment. What’s wrong in your head can’t be fixed by modifying your body. We cringe at people with too much plastic surgery and think that is wrong…why do we just accept this?
Thing I don’t understand. Why do you care? How does it hurt you, what other people define themselves as?
Because, like homosexuality, it has existed since the beginning of time. And invalidating people for who they are, discounting them because you “don’t understand”, only furthers the problem. It takes very little energy to respect people and their journey – to sympathize or empathize. Sadly it takes even less to be a raging douchebag troll.
@Polaro – I agree completely.
@Crystix – pointing out medical facts is not invalidating someone’s existence or identity. Stop conflating issues. There is currently no amount of medical interventions or surgical procedures that can alter your gender. If you believe otherwise, boy do I have a bridge to sell you (as they say). Let me ask you this: if a woman undergoes a double mastectomy and/or hysterectomy, is she any less of a woman? I should think not. I don’t think anybody here was advocating to treat people who choose to surgically alter their bodies with any less basic respect and dignity. I certainly wouldn’t. But when you cross that line and start making declarative statements regarding gender (or demanding that people pronoun you in a certain way) that runs counter to established evidence, then we have a problem.
@Apolodorus – People disregarding all of science and medical evidence is concerning. It’s not a trend we should be supporting.
You are cherry picking scientific evidence to suit your ideological structure. Don’t pretend that there isn’t a scientific debate on this. None of us are paladins for science. We just have opinions that are informed by our prejudices. None of us are experts.
The crux of the issue is that you, and others, for whatever reason, do not like it.
And that’s ok.
I’d love everyone to be happy. I don’t care what you want to do. Run with scissors for all I care. Actually I care, and I think this transgender bandwagon is a mistake. I know enough transgender people to say that they are as screwed up before as after reassignment; “oh, this isn’t what I was expecting”. “I’m not really a woman.” Yeah, you aren’t.
I believe indulging children in life changing medical intervention is wrong. Kids don’t know crap. Apparently, some adults don’t either.
“Trans women are not women”
False. “Woman” is not a biological term, it’s a sociological term. They are women. They are not biologically female.
There’s nothing obvious about it by the way. Both male and female bodies react exactly the same way to testosterone absorption. Trans women who skip the jolt of testosterone that some of their bodies produce during puberty are indistinguishable from average females on the surface since male and female bodies are practically identical before puberty. Cisgender women who overproduce testosterone (such as post-menopausal women) take on masculine features (including body hair) as well as biologically female trans men who take testosterone and are outwardly indistinguishable from men. What you mistake for disgust at transgender women is actually merely disgust at testosterone absorption in people who assume the feminine gender roles in society.
Polaro, you might want to educate yourself about Klinefelter Syndrome where men (about 1 in 1000 males) are born with extra x chromosomes, usually xxy and sometimes xxxy as opposed to the usual xy for males. Some of these men, because of the extra female chromosomes have a higher incidence of gender identification issues. Some identify as male, some as female and others as gender fluid. Many of those who identify as female go on to have gender re-assignment and lead happy productive lives as the women their bodies, minds and genetic makeup tell them they are.
Kalia, The dictionary defines woman as an adult female person. I think you are confusing the dialog by introducing new definitions that have hardly been vetted or agreed to.
Humphries should have retired years ago. He is out of touch with modern values and the act has gotten old.
At a certain point, when the “wise elders” are just crotchety old farts, they should bow out gracefully.
I look forward to shunning his future efforts playing the very thing he hates for a quick buck.
He’s not wrong, really. Look, people can do whatever they want, I don’t care. I am fully fine with someone that’s transgender doing whatever it is they feel they need to do. But in the end, they will never truly be the same as someone that was born as a man or a woman. They just won’t. A trans man is not the same as a man and never will be, and the same goes for trans women. And that shouldn’t be considered wrong to say, it’s a fact. I don’t care that they’re trans, I just don’t believe they’re the same as someone born as that gender.
Hope the bastard dies of a heart attack, or at least his tour fails. Waste of space.
Barry probably suffers from transphobia in its truest sense: Edna is her authentic self.
Assuming that many of us here are LGBTQIA…it’s interesting that gays and lesbians have often been cast in the same light (i.e., not real men or not real women). When that happens, we are very adept at seeing how someone else attempting to socially define our reality is damaging. We’ve even been engaged in actively working to have the definition of marriage expanded so that we could be included. The religious traditionalists were not interested, yet we persisted. Now, s
Some of us are too lazy to recignize that gender is an evolving social construct just like marriage. GTFOH
Gender is not evolving. It is not a social construct. It is no more a social construct than my height or eye color. It is what it is and your nonsense can’t change that. Behavior’s change. Acceptance changes. A dick is a dick and you can be as fem as you want, but you still have a dick. And it matters. So, go smoke that one in your pipe.
So many “pick me!” homos in here tryna score validation from straight people by adopting alt right talking points on trans people. It’s sad.
Yae that’s what it is! Eye roll here!
“the 85-year-old Humphries has announced that Dame Edna will come out of retirement later this year for a new tour”
A tour of what exactly, far-right retirement homes?
Who in the world is clamoring to see this washed up relic with her pinheaded views?
@Jboo: Why do you need scientific evidence? You certainly don’t need scientific evidence that you are what your orientation is. You may have hidden it and tried to be straight. Perhaps you always knew or came to know that you were different from other men.
Could you not be described as “scientifically” heterosexual, because you have the potential to father children?
I have scientific evidence, they are called a penis and a vagina. I can see them – so they are not an idea, they are real. How does a man know he’s a woman when he has never been a woman or knows what a woman feels? Have some of you people actually thought through this, or are you just using your emotions to dictate your beliefs?
….Oh! such a fan of his fabulous shows but am slightly moved in the wrong direction of the comments like, ‘You’re just a mutilated man. (if castrated). Everyone not only Greer and Humphries needs to realize anyones feelings come from the brain, NOT genitals. If you want to become a woman isn’t castration and having an artificial vagina a sign of being closer to a woman??? If you feel it will help why can’t you be allowed to voice what really you feel and want?? Greer and Humphries are ignorant because they are situated far from understanding the emotions of what it’s like to be in the wrong body!
His comments were crude. I’m angry at him for being a jerk. It was insensitive. But, no, they are not ignorant of the facts. Having never been a woman, I have no idea what the “emotions of what its like to be in the wrong body”. They don’t either. Being a feminine man is still a man. What we need is to accept that all men, feminine or masculine, are valid versions of men. Fake breasts and cutting off your penis does not make you a woman.
Dame Edna’s correct, and no amount of policing thoughts is going to change that. Female will always be female no matter what surgery she has. Same with males. It’s body mutilation over a mental defect.
Leave her alone she’s ancient old and retired. I saw her perform in San Francisco a few years ago and I seriously almost choked to death laughing. I will forgive anyone who can do that for me. Just let her fade away quietly.
Comments are closed.