The singer Boy George, who was jailed in 2009 for imprisoning a male escort (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation)
The convicted criminal George O’Dowd, more popularly known as Boy George, has said that people “want to be offended” over transgender issues.
George, who maintains some popularity in the post-#MeToo era a full decade after he was jailed for falsely imprisoning a male escort, spoke about his views on trans issues after facing a backlash in January for declaring pronouns a “a modern form of attention seeking”.
In an interview with The Sunday Times culture magazine, the former Culture Club singer, said: “I even feel uncomfortable trying to explain what I meant.”
George O’Dowd says he is happy to call people ‘fake names’.
He added: “When I was growing up nobody used the term transgender, because it was almost like a medical term.
“So this transgender thing is new, and, for our generation, it’s just getting our heads round it. But people want to be offended, because they think that whatever’s going on for them is much more important than anything else.
“But I’ll call you whatever you want. I’ve spent years calling people fake names. Boy George. Siouxsie Sioux. Johnny Rotten. Of course, it’s not the same as your sexuality.”
He added: “Let’s not forget that everyone’s trying to create a moment now. Everyone’s a producer, so there’s pressure to be more interesting – and if you’re not interesting enough, what have you got wrong with you?”
In the interview, the singer also volunteered: “I met my first friend who was a transsexual when I was 15. She used to really rib me. She used to pull her penis out. She was absolutely gross!”
According to Stonewall, more than four in five trans young people have experienced name-calling or abuse, three in five have experienced threats and intimidation and more than a third have experienced physical assault.
Moreover, more than one in for trans young people have attempted to commit suicide whereas nine in ten have thought about it.
But, if we listen to Boy George, they probably just think “whatever’s going on for them is much more important than anything else”.
Anti-trans campaigners are thrilled with Boy George.
O’Dowd has previously earned support from anti-transgender campaign group LGB Alliance.
After his pronoun comments in January, the group said: “As lesbians, gays and bisexuals we applaud Boy George for saying what many people think and few say. At the LGB Alliance we don’t ‘have’ pronouns.”
All humans have pronouns, because that’s kind of how the English language works.