In an open letter for the Huffington Post, trans actress and activist Alexandra Billings scolds Bette Midler's tweet about Caitlyn Jenner as transphobic and "undoing what took us years to do and has cost us lives to finalize."
This weekend, Midler had tweeted: “Now that @IAmCait has been cancelled, will she go back to being Bruce? Will Kris take him back? Do I smell a re-wedding?!”
After an immediate backlash from the Twittersphere, Midler quickly deleted the tweet and issued this apology:
DEAR FRIENDS @HRC, WHOM I HAVE ALWAYS SUPPORTED. SORRY LAST TWEET OFFENDED. AN IDLE MUSING. I SEEM TO HAVE MISREAD THE TEMPER OF THE TIMES.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) August 21, 2016
The hasty covering of tracks was not enough of a repentance for Billings, who wrote in her letter:
What I am is not a choice. It is a gift. Please know Bette that your deleting of the tweet and subsequent apology is deeply appreciated and received. However, I believe there is a difference between an apology and an amend. One requires regret and the other requires ownership.
Billings made clear that while she was a fan of Midler's and admired her career, she could not tolerate the language expressed toward Caitlyn Jenner.
I cannot take my Transness off, Ms. Midler, and it has taken me 54 years of survival through centuries of violence and suicides, to finally make friends with my past. And I will not be the butt of your jokes simply because you cannot take the time to write from a place of truth, instead of a place of fear.
Read the full open letter here.