Musk tweeted something transphobic, and Kelly spoke out.
You would think that, between the many companies he's founded and the numerous changes he's making to the social media platform he recently acquired, that Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk might have something better to do than publish transphobic jokes about prosecuting former US chief Anthony Fauci. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.
"My pronouns," Musk tweeted, early Sunday morning, "are Prosecute/Fauci."
Transphobia and COVID denialism all in one — extremely gross behavior! And who better than to call Musk out on his extremely gross behavior than fellow Space Dude and Outspoken Guy, former US astronaut Scott Kelly.
Kelly, whose twin brother Mark — also a former NASA astronaut — just won a Senate seat in Arizona, quickly jumped to the defense of the trans community, as well as Fauci.
"Elon, please don’t mock and promote hate toward already marginalized and at-risk-of-violence members of the LGBTQ+ community," Kelly retorted. "They are real people with real feelings."
"Furthermore," he added, "Dr. Fauci is a dedicated public servant whose sole motivation was saving lives."
Musk, ever vindictive, didn't take kindly to Kelly's response, doubling down on his anti-pronoun rage.
"I strongly disagree," the billionaire wrote back. "Forcing your pronouns upon others when they didn't ask, and implicitly ostracizing those who don't, is neither good nor kind to anyone."
"As for Fauci, he lied to Congress and funded gain-of-function research that killed millions of people," Musk continued, however offered no evidence for his claims. "Not awesome imo."
Kelly has historically been a Musk defender, often expressing appreciation for Musk's contributions to engineering and spaceflight. It's an admiration that he even recently reiterated to Futurism, offering that "Elon is an incredibly gifted person in certain areas."
But key words there being "certain areas," and Musk — who, it's worth noting, has a trans daughter — plumbed new depths this weekend. Kelly, a widely respected and wildly famous figure in his and Musk's shared field of spaceflight, felt the need to speak out.
"Sometimes people call me Mark, I feel obligated to correct them," Kelly reportedly told NBC, referring to his brother. "If people referred to me as she/her I would feel obligated to correct them as well."
"As a science minded person," he added, "I feel obligated to defend science."
READ MORE: Elon Musk, astronaut Scott Kelly spar on Twitter over pronoun use [NBC News]
More on Scott Kelly: Retired NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly Dishes on Ukraine, Russia, and Moon Mission