Actress and activist, Rose McGowan, had a heated exchange with a transgender member of the audience at a Q&A event in New York on Wednesday.
McGowan, one of the leading voices against sexual abuse, was at a press event at a Barnes & Noble store for her memoir Brave. She was answering questions submitted in writing by the audience when a woman stood up and confronted her about a comment she made on RuPaul’s podcast, What’s the Tee?, Variety reports.
During the podcast, McGowan made comments about transgender saying:
“They assume because they felt like a woman on the inside. That’s not developing as a woman. That’s not growing as a woman, that’s not living in this world as a woman, and a lot of the stuff I hear trans complaining about, yeah, welcome to the world.”
These comments led to backlash on social media where she was accused of being a trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF).
“I have a suggestion,” the audience member said. “Talk about what you said on RuPaul. Trans women are dying, and you said that we, as trans women, are not like regular women. We get raped more often. We go through domestic violence more often. There was a trans woman killed here a few blocks [away]. I have been followed home—”
“Hold on. So am I,” McGowan responded. “We are the same. My point was, we are the same.” The other woman was not mollified, coming back with “Trans women are in men’s prisons. And what have you done for them?” McGowan shot back, “What have you done for women?” The audience member was eventually escorted by Barnes & Noble security personnel as she chanted “White cis feminism.”
McGowan then “launched into a passionate tirade,” as Variety put it. “Don’t label me, sister,” she said. “Don’t put your labels on me. … I’m mad that you put shit on me because I have a fucking vagina and I’m white or I’m black or I’m yellow or I’m purple.”
“I didn’t agree to your cis fucking world,” she added, then said, “Trans women are women, and what I’ve been trying to say is that it’s the same. The stats are not that dissimilar. When you break it down, it is a much smaller population. There’s not a network here devoted to your fucking death [a reference to the Investigation Discovery channel, devoted to true-crime shows]. There are not advertisers advertising tampons with a camera lovingly going up a girl’s body as she’s being lovingly raped and strangled.”
The encounter was captured on video by another audience member who posted it on Instagram.
McGowan, whose activism is the subject of a new docu-series, Citizen Rose, then went on to appear on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, where, at her request, she had an unscripted interview. Many dubbed the segment as bizarre to which she responded on Twitter:
1) I had fun (as much as one can have in this alternate reality) on the @colbertlateshow any press framing it as “bizarre” I just have a different personality than you. I don’t follow protocol. And I will talk about WHAT I WANT. I requested a Dick Cavett free form hangout.
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) February 1, 2018
Watch her interview with Stephen Colbert below:
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