Azealia Banks doesn't get problematic, she stays problematic. The rapper came under fire again this week for a transphobic exchange with trans Twitter user Miss Gabby, who attempted to engage Banks in a dialogue on the rapper's insistence that trans women are erasing cis women from the "women conversation."
Banks went on to claim that she is an ally to trans women and alleged that a trans woman she hired to work for her merch company, Cheapyxo, had made "unwanted advances" towards her.
When Gabby questioned why Banks was constructing a narrative that all trans women are predators, Banks doubled down and said she felt "threatened and surrounded...once again."
The two then took their argument to the DMs, where Gabby explained that her issue with Banks was that her statements seemed to invalidate her womanhood as a trans woman, which Banks claimed was "your own issue sis."
"How do you think I feel listening to trans women go on and on about how cis women are the enemy and they say we're evil for putting a baby in a fucking pink dress...y'all talk shit about us daily and I hardly EVER say anything about it," Banks wrote.
"You want access to all of the space and when you get it it just becomes alllllll about you." This is a common argument used by TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) who often argue that trans women are invading the women's movement and pushing them out of it. This mentality isn't always so overt, sometimes it's subtle: the way Banks constantly reinforces the idea that cis women and trans women are separate -- the us vs. them mentality -- makes it seem like she doesn't really consider trans women to be real women.
Miss Gabby's screenshots of the exchange quickly went viral -- well, as viral as news about Azealia Banks goes -- leading the rapper to say she'd had enough with the LGBTQ+ community. "I've been the gay hiphop spokesperson for too long with very little reward," she tweeted, along with a cancellation of her upcoming single with Kim Petras. Banks even gave Out a shoutout. Aw!
\u201cAzealia Banks announced that she is cancelling her upcoming collaboration with Kim Petras, claiming that it would not be helpful for her brand:\n\n\u201cI\u2019ve been the gay hiphop spokesperson for too long with very little reward.\u201d\u201d
Banks seems to think that because queer people have largely been her biggest supporters, even through each of her scandals, that makes her an LGBTQ+ spokesperson. That's ... not actually how that works, girl. But only a day later, the Petras collab was allegedly back on. (Which like, if true: Kim, why?)
\u201cAfter canceling her collaboration with #KimPetras due to hesitation over what it would mean for her brand, #AzealiaBanks revealed it was all part of a manic episode and that the collaboration is back on.\u201d
Azealia Banks could just ... not tweet transphobic things! She could literally just not call gay men faggots, not call Lana Del Rey ugly and mock her alleged plastic surgery, not attack the ballroom community, not call Zayn Malik a racist slur, but she chooses to do these things and we let her get away with them because she's an incredibly talented artist. But at what point do we stop excusing her behavior and accept that she's just a bad person, using TERF messaging that is innately anti-LGBTQ+ despite being bisexual herself? This isn't about "canceling" someone, nor is this a call for us to stop listening to her music, because that ultimately has little effect on her -- and she's doing a fine job of tanking her career all by herself. But she deserves no place in the canon of queer music.
We cannot forgive and forget this history of hateful actions the next time we talk about her, nor can we ignore that she isn't learning from them. Any cis woman who upholds the idea that trans women are edging them out of womanhood is not one of the girls throwing some shade. She's just a bully.