Bette Midler, a bastion of wit and a beloved Twitter afficianodo, made a pretty big misstep earlier this week after firing off some thoughts about the cancellation of Caitlyn Jenner's reality series, I Am Cait. An icon of gay culture should know better than to make flippant trans jokes, and Midler was taken to task before issuing an apology.
The (since-deleted) joke in question was patently lame: “Now that @IAmCait has been cancelled, will she go back to being Bruce?" she tweeted. "Will Kris take him back? Do I smell a re-wedding?!”
Unsurprisingly, the wisecrack wasn't well recieved prompting the following mea culpa:
Hard to tell if there are hints of sarcasm and insincerity up in there.
Meanwhile, one prominent voice in the trans community ain't having it. Alexandra Billings, a self-proclaimed lifelong Midler fan and actress on the Amazon TV series Transparent, wrote an open letter to the esteemed legend on the Huffington Post.
"I cannot take my Transness off, Ms. Midler, and it has taken me 54 years of survival through centuries of violence and suicides, to finally make friends with my past," wrote Billings. "And I will not be the butt of your jokes simply because you cannot take the time to write from a place of truth, instead of a place of fear."
"The danger of what you tweeted is your influence on public opinion and your blatant disregard for the Trans experience and a glaring lack of compassion towards a people you do not know," she added. "I am forever with you in your love of nature and beauty, and in your constant quest of camp and art for art’s sake, but I will not support you in your ignorance of my brothers and sisters as we still lay at the mercy of an under educated government bureaucracy and a misguided and sometimes lethal populous."
Midler has not yet responded to Billings, but we're pretty sure she won't be making that mistake again.
[Photo: Getty Images]