The student association at a Canadian university is apologizing to members of the transgender community who may have felt “hurt” or devalued by overhearing Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side.”
In a statement on Facebook, Ontario’s University of Guelph Central Student Association apologized anyone who was upset by the “hurtful” “transphobic lyrics” played during a campus event. The student association claimed the song “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” was picked for a playlist of ‘70s and ‘80s songs out of “ignorance” and showed “an error in judgement” [sic]:
It’s come to our attention that the playlist we had on during bus pass distribution on Thursday contained a song with transphobic lyrics (Lou Reed, Take a Walk on the Wild Side). The playlist was compiled by one of the Executives with the intent of feeling like a road trip from the 70s and 80s. The song was included solely on those terms and made in ignorance as the person making the list did not know or understand the lyrics.
We now know the lyrics to this song are hurtful to our friends in the trans community and we’d like to unreservedly apologize for this error in judgement.
The student association also said they are “committed” to being more “mindful” of the music they play during events in the future, and suggested students attend a meeting to “discuss how we can create better playlists in the future” with songs that are “more inclusive.”
The student association page continued by saying the mere concept of the song, taking a walk on the wild side, is “problematic” and “dangerous” because it describes transgender people (reportedly 0.5 percent of the Canadian population) as being “unusual,” which they claim is “dehumanizing” and makes people somehow less supportive of transgender rights:
Additionally, stating that conversing, spending time with, or having sex with a trans person is “taking a walk on the wild side” is also problematic. It labels trans folks as “wild” or “unusual” or “unnatural” which is a dangerous rhetoric.
The song was released in 1972. There is nothing hostile to transgenderism in the song. In fact, it was considered risqué at the time because it referenced transgenderism. This lyric is about Holly Woodlawn, a trans actress who was part of Andy Warhol’s crowd (as was Reed):
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 said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.
The entire song is about these outré characters … because transgenderism was walking on the wild side in 1972, and to a significant degree it is today. Reed himself had a relationship back then with a male-to-female transgender. And now Reed, who later in life married Laurie Anderson, and who died in 2013, is a … bigot?!
These puritanical progressives are horrible.