The wife of country singer Jason Aldean was hit with criticism within the music industry and beyond following online comments she made that were directed at the transgender community.
“I’d really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase,” Brittany Aldean wrote last week in the caption of a makeup reveal video posted to Instagram. “I love this girly life.”
As of Monday afternoon, Aldean’s video had received more than 178,000 likes. Still, it was hard to dismiss the fact that her remark came amid efforts in some states to restrict access to gender-confirming care, as well as ban transgender athletes from women’s sports teams.
Among the first to address Aldean’s transphobia was musician Cassadee Pope.
“You’d think celebs with beauty brands would see the positives in including LGBTQ+ people in their messaging,” she tweeted Friday. “But instead here we are, hearing someone compare their ‘tomboy phase’ to someone wanting to transition. Real nice.”
Later that day, Grammy winner Maren Morris echoed that sentiment in a response to Pope’s tweet that was directed at Aldean.
“It’s so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie,” she wrote.
Moments later, musician Joy Oladokun also chimed in with a selfie and a tweet that took aim at Aldean’s remark.
“I also would like to say the LGBTQ’s have clearer skin without whatever she pushin,’” wrote Oladokun, who is a member of the LGBTQ community. “Waking up happy that my parents didn’t raise me to be as rude and nasty as Brittany Aldean.”
But Aldean, who is known for her YouTube makeup tutorial videos and is the co-founder of a clothing line aimed at conservative consumers, didn’t stop there. In a Friday post on her Instagram Stories, she amplified her stance with even more eyebrow-raising language.
“Advocating for the genital mutilation of children under the disguise of love and calling it ‘gender affirming care’ is one of the worst evils. I will always support my children and do what I can to protect their innocence,” she wrote, as seen in screenshots of the post circulated on social media. “Some parents want to be accepted by society so badly that they’re willing to make life-altering decisions for their children who aren’t old enough to fully comprehend the consequences of those actions.”
“Love is protecting your child until they are mature enough as an adult to make their own life decisions,” she continued, tagging Pope. “Thankful my parents allowed me to go through my tom boy phase without changing my gender.”
Pope, however, appeared to get the last laugh, and hinted at the controversy in an Instagram post shared on Saturday.
“POV: Knowing you got under someone’s skin you don’t like in the first place,” she wrote in the caption alongside a photo of herself posing near London’s Big Ben.
HuffPost reached out to Aldean’s representative for comment, but did not immediately hear back.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 13 U.S. states have signed anti-LGBTQ legislation into law so far this year. Many of those laws are aimed at transgender youth and gender-affirming care.
Last week, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals published an opinion that found that gender dysphoria is covered by 1990’s Americans with Disabilities Act. LGBTQ rights advocates have said they are hopeful the ruling can be used to challenge legislative efforts aimed at restricting medical care and other benefits for trans people.