Alyssa Milano recently came under fire for tweeting that she was trans, lesbian and gay.
Last week, the American actress, who’s best known for her role as Phoebe Halliwell in Charmed, responded to a tweet from a user who asked: “Alyssa, are you transgender?”
“I’m trans,” she replied. “I’m a person of color. I’m an immigrant. I’m a lesbian. I’m a gay man. I’m the disabled. I’m everything. And so are you, Kirk. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know or understand.”
She continued: “No one wants to hurt you. We are all just looking for our happily ever after.”
Alyssa then received widespread backlash online for claiming to be part of communities that she’s not.
Blair Imani, a queer, African-American Muslim activist told her: “I’m confident that there are better ways to show solidarity than to claim identities that do not belong to you.”
I’m glad this tweet invoked conversation. I’m so sorry it offended some. I see you and hear you. But just a reminder, empathy is not a bad thing. Nuance is important and literal interpretation is not always intended. And I can identify with and not identify as. Both are powerful.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) March 9, 2019
Journalist and activist George M. Johnson also took offence, telling her that she’s just an advocate and it was insensitive way of informing the world that she stands with the aforementioned communities.
“You can’t just fake an experience you don’t have,” he wrote. “You don’t navigate any space like these groups. This is the “I don’t see color” approach which is oppression and erasure.”
The backlash then prompted Alyssa to apologise. “I’m glad this tweet invoked conversation,’ she tweeted. “I’m so sorry it offended some. I see you and hear you.
“But just a reminder, empathy is not a bad thing. Nuance is important and literal interpretation is not always intended. And I can identify with and not identify as. Both are powerful.”
She ended her tweet with a quote from 13th century poet Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi: ‘This is a subtle truth. Whatever you love, you are.”