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Musk's Tweet Likely Not Transphobic

Christopher Frawley Christopher Frawley
31st July 2020
Musk's Tweet Likely Not Transphobic
Elon Musk regularly makes controversial remarks (Getty Images).

The Claim

Elon Musk tweeted out an insensitive and transphobic comment.

Emerging story

Elon Musk, the billionaire head of tech giant Tesla, came under fire this week for a controversial statement. At 11:42 PM, July 24th, 2020, Musk posted a tweet which contained the following words: “Pronouns suck.” This tweet has been interpreted by many to be a callous attack against some members of the LGBTQI+ community. Musk’s partner, the popular musician known as Grimes, tweeted in response “I cannot support hate. Please stop this. I know this isn’t your heart.” She has since deleted this response. Since then, users on social media have decried Musk for making a transphobic post.

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation found that Musk’s tweet is so short and vague that it can be interpreted as having a wide variety of meanings. This is also not the first time that the tech mogul has tweeted out vague/cryptic messages. On July 17th, 2020, he tweeted out the simple “Just stop,” followed by “Thanks.”

A screenshot of a cell phone screen with text

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Just before tweeting, “Pronouns suck,” he tweeted, “Twitter sucks,” a far less controversial statement judging by the considerably lower amount of backlash.

Despite the continued outrage over his tweet, there is no evidence to support the suggestion that Elon Musk is transphobic. Pronouns have become increasingly important to many non-cisgender people, but the grammar itself is neutral. It is equally possible that Musk made his statement in opposition to traditional gender roles, but this too is conjecture.

Musk and Grimes have publicly stated that they plan on raising their new child (whose name, X Æ A-12, does not conform to any gender) as gender neutral, allowing them to choose for themselves their gender identity.      

This public announcement directly contradicts the idea that Musk is transphobic or insensitive to gender identity.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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