Douchebag Decree: Billy Corgan Decides Transphobia is the Only Way to Get Attention

"ye olde douchebag decree" in blue letters with a light blue hand-drawn douchebag in the background, and "BITCH HEREBY DECLARES THE FOLLOWING PERSON A TOTAL DOUCHEBAG" in small letters in red underneath.

Billy Corgan continued his downward trajectory towards irrelevancy (wrestling, anyone?) last week by not only insulting, slandering and threatening violence against Portland-based guitar pedal maker Devi Ever, but by making some incredibly transphobic statements for all of the Internet to see. Luckily, in Devi Ever we have not only a talented guitar electronics tailor but an incredibly level-headed woman adept at responding to such ugly words.

The whole tirade stemmed from a series of interactions between Ever and Corgan over Facebook and message board postings. After some not-so-glowing reactions to several of Ever's pedals, Corgan hinted over Facebook that he wanted Ever to develop a guitar pedal just for him. Ever took some time and enlisted the help of another Portland pedal maker to develop what would become the Silver Rose, which, even for Ever, looks like a pretty sophisticated piece of kit.

The pedal Devi Ever developed for Billy Corgan.


Devi Ever sent the pedal to Corgan for him to play with and, even after several weeks, got zero response from the former/current/forever chief Pumpkin. After frustration at Corgan's lack of response, Ever vented in a since-deleted post on a Smashing Pumpkins message board, expecting responses from a group of only 12 people. Seeing this post, Corgan vaulted head-first into a flurry of hateful Facebook messages written to Ever and tweets sent out to his Twitter fanbase. The A.V. Club, Pedestrian.tv and Queerty picked up on the story before both parties deleted much of the online evidence.

Among other Facebook nuggets of wisdom, Douche du Jour Corgan wrote "..if i ever run into you, anywhere, at anytime, for as long as i live, i will knock your fucking lights out." And as if threats of violence weren't awful enough, his string of tweets launches into even more overt, undeniably transphobic statements. Corgan continued, knowingly insulting Ever as a transwoman by using the pronoun "he/she," saying, "his/her pedals suck. He/she sucks. Never associate my name and his/hers ever again."

Using some pretty harsh analogies herself, Ever illustrates how hurtful and insensitive the phrases "he/she" and "his/her" really are in her nearly 20-minute long Youtube response. She has since removed the video (and almost all trace of the dispute) from the Internet, which is a shame, because the composure she retains in the face of the incredibly hurtful things Corgan has been throwing at her are really astounding. In a message board comment (also deleted) she confessed that she ought to have

"gone for a hike, cooled off, then spoken with Billy privately about my disappointments with his reactions / non-reaction to my pedals over the years, but I still don't think that excuses Billy for going as far as he did in retaliation, and I'd still greatly appreciate if Billy apologized via Twitter, and perhaps donate to a trans-rights organization"

Come on now. Billy Corgan running off his mouth as per usual is truly BORING, but Billy Corgan thinking he can get away with hateful transphobic statements makes me want to scream. Devi Ever should be proud that she stood up to Corgan's unbelievable ranting.

We should all admire Devi Ever for not stooping to Corgan's level and for maintaining a level of maturity that we have yet to see from the historically transphobic Smashing Pumpkins leader. She not only works in a fiercely male-dominated industry (as Amy Klein writes here), she has risen to the forefront of boutique guitar electronics manufacturers, finding patrons in the likes of Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine), Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) and the Flaming Lips. A statement on her Facebook demonstrates the ridiculous amount of strength she's shown over the past few weeks that everyone (especially a certain douchebag) ought to take a cue from:

"Treat yourself well today. Play a lot of guitar. Drink a lot of water. Feel free to not sweat the little things. ♥"

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Comments

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Shame. I'm a huge fan of

Shame. I'm a huge fan of early Pumpkins music, but I've long known that Billy Corgan is a tool. I'm sorry to hear that he's stooped to this level.

I have dated trans-women for

I have dated trans-women for going on a decade now. He wasn't being trans-phobic. He saw someone attacking him on twitter and he wrote back immediately not knowing too much about the person. It sounds like he was trying to be careful. He didn't even know what the person identified as. For all he knew it was a cross-dresser who did not identify as a woman. Using the term he/she is not trans-phobic. It is not the term they would like to be called at all and you're within your right to call him out on it but it just means he didn't know what to call the woman. Devi Ever does not sound like a level headed girl by the way. Her original posts that got him aggravated were insane. She sounds like a nut job. So does he actually. He got way too aggressive and seems like an insecure internet tough guy, but to jump on the wagon and say this girl is right just because she's trans and you support trans rights is bogus. Look, I spend a lot of time around the trans community in San Francisco, believe me, this is not trans-phobia. Trans-phobia is trans women getting hassled in public and yelled at and assaulted. This is someone not knowing what to call someone or how to act around them. That is totally acceptable. The other final note is that whether it's the hormones or a lifetime of taking other peoples' shit, many trans-women are very emotional and the original posts of this girl reveal her to be an obsessive stalker type. In my experiences the most trans-phobic people in San Francisco (and you're gonna be mad at me for this) are catty gay men who are grossed out by trans women and make loud remarks to and about them in public, "Ew is that a man?" "What is she wearing?" etc. Billy's just an old man who isn't hip anymore. He aint a transphobe. Or maybe he is? but Im gonna need more evidence than this.

Yuppers, you have a seat at

Yuppers, you have a seat at the Devi Ever show.
the main article is over two years old, but she tweeted it again today in Feb 2014. She milks this for a lot since she can ride the coattails of a notable person AND she gets to cast herself as the victim to boot.
She'll bring this up time and time again, but I bet 2 years from now, she'll bristle at the subject of her taking all that money from the kickstarter people.

She's played this sort of drama game for years, hmmm I wonder why ;-)

" I was really convinced for a while there that I'd be able to get out of the pedal game and just quickly move on to being a successful muscian... or god forbid some kind of e-celebrity."

Interesting point. It looks

Interesting point.
It looks like Corgan knew she was trans BEFORE starting to deal with her - which doesn't really scream transphobia -- sounds more like their biz deal got bad and there were insults and drawing the foul.

Devi Ever still makes backhanded remarks about this issue pretty regularly and I'm starting to see a pattern now that she's trying to move from porn to video games.
she targets a more popular or notable figure and starts some sort of static -- gets more traffic

So? You people gotta lighten

So?

You people gotta lighten up. Devi Ever is a he/she hype whore.

You're a fucking moron. Drink

You're a fucking moron. Drink a lot of water--and by drink a lot of water I mean drown yourself you cissexist fuckwad.

fair enough, Corgan shouldn't

fair enough, Corgan shouldn't have done what he done, but the article's misrepresenting devi to paint her as some kind of trans hero to push the sites agenda, which is hypocritical.used to be "women can do just as good a job as men" blah blah.. gender nothing to do with someones ability to do a job, and therefore transgender has no bearing on someones ability to do a job. The article is pushing gender differences by making statements such as "feircely male dominated industry". and? maybe because more men have chosen to persue it as a career? thats not fighting a corner or gender oppression.

And by the way, the misrepresentation i spoke of? well.. its pretty well accepted among the effects community that Devi work is shoddy and poorly executed. she's not particularly at the forefront, she's known, thats about it. and the !finding patrons! comment gives the impression that these people are endorsing her products. they bought a few, so what? practically every boutique builder has billy gibbons listed as a patron, he tries everything.

Level headed? hardly. when she has a pop it's venting, when corgan loses the plot at her talking sh*t, it's hatred. level playing field and same rules for everyone? hardly displaying it in this article

ugh, this is gross. I really

ugh, this is gross.
I really hate to see a public figure like Corgan be given a platform to spread that sort of negativity.
Especially like it was, used as an attack at a singled out person.

But to get the message out, the other posters bring up a good point. The article is lionizing Ever and it makes the issue read like a cartoon. Her hat isn't exactly spotless white

" an incredibly level-headed woman"
I don't think anyone who is aware of her outside of trans issues would say that. She's been known to fly off the handle so badly and repeatedly she'd get banned from (guitar stuff related no less, not political) discussion sites and/or rage-quit repeatedly.

" which, even for Ever, looks like a pretty sophisticated piece of kit."
Even for Devi Ever makes it sound like she does sophisticated engineering. She's already been candid (after leaving electronics) she didn't really know much about what she was doing electronically.

She did a kickstarter, but left people hanging for something like $40K. Now in her defense, she did say she was working on refunded, but OTOH she hangs out on twitter talking about how she's working on retro-style videogames, broke and doesn't want to get a day job (not a great way to pay people back)

A couple of months ago there was an incident where she tweeted some racially charged terminology at another person to egg them on.

Does this mean Corgan was in the right to spew out hat sort of thing? NO, absolutely not.

But turning it into a cartoon where the evil baddie attacks the shining pillar of strength is reductionist and hurts the message in the article.

Life is more complicated than that and talking down the audience like they are 4 yrs old isn't a good thing.

Just like Corgan, Ever has some personality problems that burden other people.
There is a decent chance Corgan had cause to be pissed off (we'll never know all the dealings between them, but Ever's track record of coming through isn't that great).
and that's the real thing
IN SPITE of that, Corgan should NOT have used transphobia as a weapon (nor should Ever use racism) to take care of other grievances BUT he SHOULD be allowed to have grievances.

A trans person can be a good craftsperson or a poor craftsperson.
A trans person can be honest and responsible with money or dishonest and irresponsible with money
A transperson can be an asshole.

None of that is because they are trans though. A trans person is still a person and we should recognize that, warts and all.

If you want an exemplary trans person who really made good in music effects electronics go look up Janet Furman -- not BECAUSE she's trans, but because she's that good.

Racism isn't any better

Devi Ever just twitter-linked to this article today. I only know about Devi through a project called Dreaming Sarah, so the guitar argument I didn't follow.

I DID see the tweets where she started calling a guy "nigga" (hope that's OK to quote it for full disclosure)
Sure, a lot of people use that just to be prog or as a goof or whatever ...BUT A BIG DIFF is when she was asked to stop, she threw it right back in that guys' face calling him "my nigga" (for white folks to use my with N- is dangerous turf) and using it in other tweets he'd see.
Which sucks because throwing the word at someone you KNOW you are offending is using it in exactly the way that makes it offensive; as a hammer of subjugation and oppression.
It's crypto-racism; racial insensitivity and disrespect getting sold as progressive. That's where the dangerous racism hides these days , it has evolved into a subtle art.

It is a shame because I still like and check out the graphics work she puts on twitter, but I eventually decided I just couldn't actually support Dreaming Sarah or any of her other projects because of that....at least not until she does a little growing up

In the best of all worlds, I'd hope Devi Ever takes her own advice and educates herself little more about racial issues (especially as a white person), tweets an apology and

OMG That has to be the first

OMG

That has to be the first time I've seen anyone call Devi Ever "level-headed".

Love or hate her pedals. Love or hate Billy Corgan

but Devi Ever level-headed!?!?!

Maybe you can get the article republished in Analog science fiction magazine.