Actress Alyssa Milano has apologized for a tweet in which she said she was ‘trans’, ‘lesbian’ and ‘gay’, despite identifying as straight.
The 46-year-old Charmed actress responded to a question from a Twitter user, asking her: ‘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.
She then continued: I’m everything. And so are you, Kirk.
‘Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know or understand. No one wants to hurt you. We are all just looking for our happily ever after,’ she tweeted on Saturday (9 March).
Social media users became confused over the tweet, with some even taking offence.
Queer historian Blair Imani responded: ‘I’m confident that there are better ways to show solidarity than to claim identities that do not belong to you.’
Then activist Zellie Imani simply replied: ‘No.
‘This is not how any of this works. Oppression and intersectionality isn’t an outfit that you decide to put on whenever you like,’ he continued.
Activist George M Johnson then responded: ‘No. You are an advocate. Be ok with that. This isn’t the way to say you are with us.
He also wrote: ‘You can’t just fake an experience you don’t have. You don’t navigate any space like these groups. This is the “I don’t see color” approach which is oppression and erasure,’ he said.
Alyssa Milano apologizes
The social media backlash then prompted Alyssa Milano to clarify her tweet and apologize.
‘I’m glad this tweet invoked conversation,’ she wrote in a follow up tweet. ‘I’m so sorry it offended some. I see you and hear you.
She then added: ‘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 then quoted thirteenth century Persian poet Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi: ‘This is a subtle truth. Whatever you love, you are.’
Milano is an activist and vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement.