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I'll leave this here without comment (yet): Is Walk on the Wild Side transphobic? Student group issues apology after playing Lou Reed song: „Canadian student association has published an apology after a playing the Lou Reed song Walk on the Wild Side during a university event. The apology describes the song as having 'transphobic lyrics'.“
"The playlist was compiled by one of the Executives with the intent of feeling like a road trip from the 70s and 80s," wrote a representative of the University of Guelph Central Student Association. "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."
Walk on the Wild Side featured on Lou Reed's 1972 album Transformer, and is arguably his best-known song as a solo artist. Its lyrics describe a number of individuals Reed knew from frequenting Andy Warhol's Factory - among them transgender 'Superstars' Holly Woodlawn and Candy Darling.
The opening lines of Walk on the Wild Side recount Woodlawn's journey to New York:
Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.
Hitchhiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way.
Shaved her legs and then he was a she.
She says, 'Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side.'
The Student Association wrote: "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 lyrics, 'and then he was a she,' devalues the experiences and identities of trans folks. The first issue with this is that it minimizes the experiences of oppression, and obstacles that trans people must overcome in order to be accepted in society (it’s not as simple as shaving one’s legs). It suggests that a change of appearance is a required to identify as trans, and this is a myth.