With Yet Another Transphobic Rant, It’s Past Time for LGBTQ People to Dump Azealia Banks
Azealia Banks is no stranger to making controversial, bigoted statements, and she’s proven this point again in a recent Instagram post. While announcing her engagement to artist Ryder Ripps, she wrote, “I’m Jewish now. MAZEL TOV BITCHES!” along with a photo of her engagement ring (which features a menorah). When someone in the comments explained that Judaism “doesn’t work like that,” they were met with an odd transphobic Azealia Banks rant you have to read to believe.
CW: Transphobia, Antisemitism
Someone pointed out to Azealia Banks she needs to convert to Judaism to be Jewish and she responded with a transphobic rant like wtf just say you don’t understand Jewish culture and move on pic.twitter.com/fMPkwTq3sa
— borscht belt barbie (@schxleo) February 22, 2021
The out-of-nowhere transphobic Azealia Banks rant, which likens gender confirmation surgery to castration and claims that society is lying to transfolk by acknowledging their gender, is egregious in and of itself — so genuinely harmful that I don’t even know where to start picking it apart — but she doesn’t stop there.
She also writes about her belief that transwomen are just trying to “force their ways into women’s spaces” and makes a comparison (filled with transphobic language) of gender confirmation surgery and converting to Judaism, then somehow bringing racism into the situation. While no one has the right to argue that Azealia Banks, a Black woman, has not experienced racism in her life, it’s difficult to see how being told there are the necessary steps to convert to Judaism can be construed that way.
These anti-Semitic, transphobic Azealia Banks comments don’t really come as a surprise at this point. But with over 700,000 followers on Instagram and over 1.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, we have to ask: How does she still have this platform?
She’s showed her true colors countless times, regularly using transphobic and ableist language, not to mention homophobic language. (And, no, claiming to be bisexual doesn’t absolve you of being a homophobe, nor does having a trans sibling allow you to spout transphobic tirades.) She’s hurled racist slurs at Zayn Malik (for which she was booted from both a UK festival and Twitter). She’s criticized gay men who are on PrEP. She endorsed Donald Trump. She’s an anti-masker. It’s so completely bizarre that she still has the support that she has, especially from the LGBTQ community — and from those who still somehow see her as a “gay icon.”
Yes, the woman makes great music. But there are a lot of artists out there who do, and the intersection of “great art” and “artists who aren’t wildly transphobic” is actually a pretty large one. We have got to stop processing art through a lens of what only affects and harms us directly, and stand up for the most vulnerable members of our community. That means transfolks, y’all.
Isn’t it time we hold ourselves accountable and stop giving racist, homophobic, transphobic Azealia Banks a fandom?
Featured image: Cassandra Hannagan/Getty Images