People Have Been Misgendering Saff From Tiger King Since Netflix Release

by : Emily Brown on : 03 Apr 2020 10:13

Saff from Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness has spoken out about his preferred pronouns after being misgendered following the release of the Netflix documentary.  

He has received praise for being one of the more rational, level-headed people featured on the wild series, which otherwise consists of wacky personalities, dark theories and murderous plots.

Saff worked as one of Joe Exotic’s keepers, helping tend to the big cats at his zoo. Fans of the series have complimented Saff for his dedication to the care of the animals, which he continued to work with even after one of them mauled him.

Saff from Tiger KingSaff from Tiger KingNetflix

The former zoo keeper’s pronouns weren’t made clear on the show, and as a result many fans have been referring to Saff as ‘she’ when sharing their thoughts on the series.

Robert Moor, who created the podcast Joe Exotic: Tiger King before the documentary hit Netflix, has since made an effort to correct fans, explaining Saff uses male pronouns.


Moor spent a lot of time with those involved in Tiger King, and tweeted:

(Not really ‘trivia,’ but a useful piece of info for anyone discussing the show): Saff, the person who got mauled by the tiger, told me repeatedly that he is trans, prefers to be called Saff (not ‘Kelci’), and uses he/him pronouns. So please do likewise.

Saff has since spoken out himself about his preferences and said while he wouldn’t necessarily describe himself as a transgender man he would rather be referred to as ‘he’.


Speaking to Out about being misgendered, Saff explained:

I think the reason that I stay pretty neutral on it all is I’ve never been one to tell people what to be or what to say or how to handle anything. It’s a big community out there so I don’t want to pick a side either way.

If people are asking me what I prefer, it’s very obvious what I prefer, and that’s he. But I’m not going to tell anyone what they need to or should call me. I think that everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, and I’m obviously as easygoing in that department as I can get.

I don’t think that I personally get offended I think others do. I think everyone should stand up for what they believe in. I just — it’s literally one of the last things that I really considered worrying about.

Responding to reports in which he was identified as a trans man, Saff added:


I can honestly say no. I don’t know that that describes me. You know, nothing was done. I really just have lived this lifestyle.

And, you know, my family knows this. And obviously, people closest to me know. This is how I’ve lived my entire life. I don’t know anything else.

Saff went on to describe how his life has changed since the release of the documentary, admitting he has started to be widely recognised by viewers and describing the reaction as ‘all around crazy’.

Tiger King will likely be a hot topic of conversation for some time, so hopefully people will remember to refer to Saff in the way he prefers in future.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Film and TV, Carole Baskin, gender, Joe Exotic, Pronouns, Saff, Tiger King


Out and 1 other
  1. Out

    'Tiger King's Saff Still Wants the Best for the Animals

  2. Robert Moore/Twitter