Please. Bowie was having a laugh — something you could never accuse today’s trans activists of doing. It was a significant laugh, yes, in that it helped shake up the pop world and stoke some healthy intergenerational conflict. (Every fiftysomething who was a Bowie fan in the early Seventies reports that their moms and dads hollered “Is that a man or a woman?!” whenever Bowie was on TV.) There was a knowing naughtiness to Bowie’s gender-bending, not unlike those 1950s rockers who knew that Brylcreeming their hair into the shape of a duck’s ass would rile their elders.
He was trolling for reactions– the folks these days are deadly serious, and want agreement, not reactions.