Elon Musk’s Ex-Wife Says ‘Very Proud’ of Trans Daughter Coming Out, Severing Ties With Father
© AP Photo / Susan WalshTesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk listens to a question as he speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition in Washington, Monday, March 9, 2020
© AP Photo / Susan Walsh
Industrialist Elon Musk recently announced he would vote Republican in the 2024 election, although he said Tuesday he was still “undecided” about whether or not he would back Donald Trump’s likely bid to return to the White House. Trump has pledged massive rollbacks in LGBTQ rights if he wins.
Musk’s 18-year-old child was recently revealed to be transgender after the paperwork for her name change petition was leaked to the press. In the documents filed in April, she asked for the court to change her legal name to Vivian Jenna Wilson - adopting her mother Justine’s maiden name and dropping her father’s surname.
While it’s typically only necessary on such forms to state that one is transitioning and desires a name congruent with one’s gender, and it’s not uncommon for trans people to change their entire name for various reasons, including a desire to “start over,” Vivian’s petition left no room for misunderstanding, saying her reason was “Gender identity and the fact that I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form.”
Justine Musk, a Canadian fantasy novel author, was married to the South African-born industrialist from 2000 until 2008, giving birth to five children in that time: a set of twins, of whom Vivan was one, and another set of triplets who are two years younger. Justine tweeted on Monday a brief exchange between her and Vivian:
"I had a weird childhood," my 18 year old said to me. "I can't believe I'm as normal-seeming as I am."— Justine Musk (@justinemusk) June 20, 2022
I said, "I'm very proud of you."
"I'm proud of myself!"
"I had a weird childhood," Vivan told her mother, according to the tweet. "I can't believe I'm as normal-seeming as I am."
"I'm very proud of you,” Justine replied.
"I'm proud of myself!" was Vivian’s affirmation.
Musk, 50, is by some measures the world’s richest person, with some $219 billion to his name, according to Forbes. He owns or controls several technology and engineering firms, including space flight company SpaceX, construction company The Boring Company, and electric car maker Tesla. He’s also known for his capricious social media presence, which has been blamed for influencing the prices of everything from stocks to cryptocurrencies.
He’s also used Twitter to express his thoughts on US politics and the so-called “culture war” at the center of which are the social and political rights of transgender people. One tweet in late 2020 mocking people who put their pronouns in their online bios - a practice intended to ease the social inclusion of trans people - was called out by the Human Rights Campaign, a nationwide LGBTQ rights advocacy group, after Musk attempted to parry criticism for the tweet by citing Tesla’s immaculate rating by HRC on LGBTQ-inclusive corporate policies.
Another tweet in which he simply declared that “pronouns suck” was swatted down by his then-wife, Grimes, who is nonbinary, who told him in a since-deleted tweet that she “cannot support hate” and urged him to get off his phone. Since their breakup, Grimes has gone on to begin a romantic relationship with Chelsea Manning, a trans woman who went to federal prison for revealing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last month, Musk denounced what he called the “woke mind virus,” leaving the term undefined but claiming it would “destroy civilization and humanity will never [reach] Mars,” and perhaps even worse, for “making Netflix unwatchable.” Once a term in African-American Vernacular English that referred to one being aware of racial prejudice and discrimination, “woke” has since become a catch-all term used by opponents of progressive politics, particularly to deride racial equity and the social inclusion of transgender people.