Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan stirred up controversy last week with a series of angry tweets directed at guitar pedal maker and transwoman Devi Ever. Ever criticized Corgan on a Smashing Pumpkins forum for his allegedly anti-gay views and lack of feedback on a pedal she'd made him. The singer shot back at Ever, tweeting that "he/she" is an "ugly pig" and sending her threats on Facebook.

Billy's actions have upset the genderqueer community, many of whom are accusing him of transphobia. They may be right; this isn't the first time Corgan has made borderline trans-bashing statements. So the question is: why is Corgan so hostile to transsexuals? After studying his career, I have discovered several possible explanations.

  • As a prank, Corgan's bandmates once paid a transvestite to flirt with him. The two went to Corgan's room where the man, to reveal the joke, removed his wig. However, Corgan still thought the man was a woman who just "dug the bald look" and made love with him for several hours before learning the truth.
  • In 1996, female impersonator Billi Corgan sued Corgan for allegedly stealing his stage name and major elements of his wardrobe.
  • Corgan only covered Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" because Stevie Nicks fans - many of whom are transvestites - kept pestering him to do so. (As revenge, he sung the whole song out-of-tune.)

  • At the first-ever Smashing Pumpkins show, a man in makeup and fishnets heckled Corgan; he said the Pumpkins were terrible and that he'd eventually sell twice as many records. Corgan scoffed at the man, not knowing he'd go on to become Marilyn Manson.
  • Corgan auditioned for the lead in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, but received the lesser role of Hedwig's penis.
  • A transvestite once entered The Smashing Pumpkins' tour bus and did all their coke, after being mistaken for bassist D'arcy Wretzky.
  • Corgan used samples from the video game Doom in the song "Where Boys Fear To Tread" because he had a crush on Doom designer John Romero - until he discovered Romero is a man.
  • Corgan once tried to collaborate with singer/songwriter Genesis P-Orridge; however, P-Orridge - a transsexual known for engaging in sex and self-mutilation on stage - thought the collaboration would hurt his artistic integrity.
  • In 2000, Corgan wrote music for the Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Show, not knowing his contract also required him to play Uncle Fester in The Addams Family Musical.
  • Corgan still holds a grudge against the late rock star and occasional crossdresser Kurt Cobain for marrying his ex-girlfriend Courtney Love. (Love said Corgan influenced the marriage by giving her a taste for feminine-looking men.)
  • Corgan actually suffers from TRANSphobia - fear of the Neil Young album Trans - but he still fears transsexuals, because it's almost the same thing.

– Jedidiah "Jed" Kirchner (@notoriousamoeba)

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