Singer Macy Gray, who has received backlash in recent days for her comments on gender identity, addressed her stance with TODAY’s Hoda Kotb on Thursday.
During an appearance on Piers Morgan Uncensored on Monday night, Gray, 54, stated her belief that gender-affirming surgery does not automatically make an individual a woman.
“If you want me to call you a ‘her,’ I will, because that’s what you want. But that doesn’t make you a woman,” she said.
The comments received backlash for being transphobic. On Tuesday, per People, Gray released an initial statement on Twitter that said, “I have nothing but love for the LGBT+ and transgender community and have been a supporter since Day One.” She also said her comments on Piers Morgan were “grossly misunderstood,” saying she respects “everyone’s right to feel comfortable in their bodies and live their own truth.”
But on Wednesday, Gray appeared to backtrack from that sentiment. Writing to individuals “coming on (her) page" and "threatening (her)", she said, “be whatever you wana (sic) be and f- off.” Gray also appeared to delete her previous tweets that said her comments were “grossly misunderstood.”
When asked about where she stands currently on those statements by Hoda, the Grammy-winning singer responded that she “never meant to hurt anybody.”
“I think it takes a lot of courage to be yourself, to go out in the world and be honest about who you are. And so I think anyone who is in the LGBT community is a hero and sets an example for all of us,” Gray said. “I said some things that didn’t go over well, but my intention was never to hurt anybody. I feel bad that I did hurt some people.”
Gray continued to say that she thinks “it’s just about education” and wants to get to a point where everyone can “understand each other.” She said this has been a “huge learning experience” for her.
When Hoda asked Gray if she feels her perspective has changed through this “learning experience,” Gray replied that she has “learned so much.”
“Being a woman is a vibe, and it’s something that I’m very proud of,” she said. “And it’s very precious to me and I think that if you, in your heart, feel that that’s what you are, then that’s what you are regardless of what anybody says or thinks.”
Gray, who is currently promoting her new album “The Reset,” did not directly or explicitly retract any of her previous statements.
“You’re whoever you believe you are and no one can dictate that for you or take that away,” she told Hoda.
Gray also spoke about the release of her upcoming album, “The Reset,” out August 10. “The upside of the shutdown was that it was a great time to be creative,” she said.