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 trans 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 transpeople? After studying his career, I have discovered several possible explanations.
As a prank, Corgan's bandmates once paid a cross-dresser 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 cross-dressers - 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 cross-dresser 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 transperson 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 transpeople because he thinks they're fans of the album.