Sunday, May 21, 2017

Was Lou Reed transphobic?

Fans of the late Lou Reed may find this hard to fathom. But his hit, "Walk on the Wild Side" is stirring up controversy because there are some people who say it offends them.

This all came to the surface at an Ontario university, Where someone played the song. And then apologized after someone complained that the lyrics are insensitive to transgender people.

Here are the lyrics that are causing the controversy.

Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.

Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.

Plucked her eyebrows on the way

Shaved her legs and then he was a she

She says, 'Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side'

He said, 'Hey honey, take a walk on the wild side' 

Now, I've read that the lyrics were about friends of Lou Reed. Some have said they celebrate their choices in life. But today, of course, things are viewed from a different prism, especially on a college campus.

The lyrics to the famous song don't just refer to "Holly." There are also references to, for example, someone engaging in oral sex. And Reed also shouts out to the ''colored girls." "Joe" turning tricks. And "Jackie" speeding away. And not in a car. So, presumably, it's not just transgender people who are being offended here. Potentially anyway.

Are we getting way too sensitive these days? Or were we living in an age of insensitivity in 1972 when "Wild" was recorded?

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