Elon Musk hits back at former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who accused the billionaire of mocking the LGBTQ community by misusing gender pronouns

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  • Elon Musk and former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly sparred over the use of gender pronouns.

  • Kelly told Musk not to "promote hate" toward the LGBTQ community by mocking gender pronouns.

  • Musk said "forcing" gender pronouns on others was "neither good nor kind to anyone."

Elon Musk on Sunday engaged in a Twitter spat with a former NASA astronaut after the billionaire appeared to mock the use of gender pronouns.

"My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci," Musk tweeted, apparently referring to chief White House medical advisor Dr Anthony Fauci.

Scott Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, responded to the tweet, saying: "Elon, please don't mock and promote hate toward already marginalized and at-risk-of-violence members of the #LGBTQ+ community. They are real people with real feelings. Furthermore, Dr Fauci is a dedicated public servant whose sole motivation was saving lives."

In a reply to Kelly, Musk said: "I strongly disagree. Forcing your pronouns upon others when they didn't ask, and implicitly ostracizing those who don't, is neither good nor kind to anyone."

Kelly is a former commander of the International Space Station and piloted Space Shuttle Discovery on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope in 1999. He retired from NASA in 2016 after receiving numerous awards and decorations.

It's not the first time Musk has taken aim at gender pronouns. In 2020, his ex-partner Grimes said "stop this" after Musk tweeted that "pronouns suck."

Six months later, Musk shared a meme that mocked gender pronouns used in social media bios. In response, LGBTQ advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign urged him to apologize for his "insensitive" comments.

A few days later, Musk tweeted: "I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare."

Recently, Musk's transgender daughter filed to legally change her family name, saying she no longer wanted to be identified with her biological father.

In his response to Kelly on Sunday, Musk also made a series of allegations against Fauci without providing additional information or evidence.

Some Republicans have said they want to investigate the infectious diseases expert over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent tweets, Musk has endorsed the GOP and shared anti-Democratic conspiracy theories.

Representatives for Kelly didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, made outside US operating hours.

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