'We're Not Gonna Take It': Twisted Sister Rocker Hits Back Against Transgender Intolerance

Former Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider / Getty Images
May 5, 2023

The former frontman for '80s metal band Twisted Sister accused transgender activists of intolerance after he got the boot from San Francisco's gay pride parade for questioning gender transitions in children.

In a Friday statement posted to Facebook, Dee Snider said that accusing politically "moderate" supporters of "LGBTQIA+ rights" like him of transphobia is "not a good look for their cause."

"I was not aware the Transgender community expects fealty and total agreement with all their beliefs and any variation or deviation is considered 'transphobic,'" Snider also wrote.

The public falling-out reflects a growing divide between most of the public, who oppose encouraging transgenderism in minors, and the demands of radical transgender activists and their supporters in the media and the Democratic Party. A Washington Post-KFF poll published Thursday found that most Americans disapprove of sex-change treatments for minors and say it is inappropriate for teachers to discuss transgender identity with students before high school.

SF Pride had enlisted Snider to serve as grand marshal in its June parade, where the cross-dressing rocker was scheduled to sing Twisted Sister's iconic tune "We're Not Gonna Take It." The anthem was to serve as the theme song for the progressive city's famous gay pride celebration and a symbolic rebuke of "transphobia" as red states have moved to restrict sex-change treatments for minors and other recent advances by transgender activists.

Then SF Pride officials saw Snider's retweet of a post by another '80s rocker, Paul Stanley of Kiss.

Stanley said in the post on Sunday that some adults and parents are recklessly leading kids "down a path" toward sex-change surgery, calling the trend a "sad and dangerous fad."

"There is a BIG difference between teaching acceptance and normalizing and even encouraging participation in a lifestyle that confuses young children … as though [it is] some sort of game and then parents in some cases allow it," Stanley wrote.

Snider agreed in his retweet the following day: "There was a time where I 'felt pretty' too. Glad my parents didn't jump to any rash conclusions!"

On Tuesday, SF Pride announced that the group and Snider had "mutually agreed to part ways." "Dee has always been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights," wrote SF Pride executive director Suzanne Ford. "However, when we were notified about the tweet in which Dee expressed support for Kiss's Paul Stanley's transphobic statement, we were heartbroken and angry."

"To all our allies—we want to call you in—not call you out," Ford concluded.

Joe Garofoli, the San Francisco Chronicle's longtime political columnist, in a column slammed Stanley's tweet as transphobic and lamented how "Snider's good intentions were subverted by … transphobia."

Stanley in a tweet Thursday walked back his statements, saying, "While my thoughts were clear, my words clearly were not. Most importantly and above all else, I support those struggling with their sexual identity while enduring constant hostility and those whose path leads them to reassignment surgery."

But Snider refused to back down. He reiterated on Friday that he does not believe children are mentally developed enough to make "rational, logical decisions" about irreversible sex changes. He said it was "just good parenting" to put boundaries on children as they are maturing.

"Don't reject people who are willing to march, sing, and stand with you just because we don't perfectly see eye to eye," he wrote. "We are still your allies."