Pop icon Lizzo partnered up with Drag Race stars to condemn Tennessee’s anti-drag legislation.
Over the last few months, Republican lawmakers across the United States have targeted the drag community by spewing hateful rhetoric and introducing an array of anti-drag bills.
In March, Tennessee’s Republican governor Bill Lee signed Senate Bill 3 into law, making it the first state in the US to ban public drag shows.
While a federal judge has temporarily blocked the harmful law until 26 May, the anti-drag rhetoric is showing no signs of slowing down.
In response to the archaic drag bans, LGBTQ+ activists and entertainment industry professionals have used their platforms to fight against hate – including Grammy winner and LGBTQ+ icon Lizzo.
On 21 April, the About Damn Time singer kicked off the second leg of her acclaimed The Special 2our in Knoxville, Tennessee.
During the middle of her electric show, Lizzo delivered a powerful speech on why she chose to perform in the conservative state.
“In light of recent and tragic events and current events, I was told by people on the internet, ‘Cancel your shows in Tennessee,’ ‘Don’t go to Tennessee,'” she said.
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“Their reason was valid, but why would I not come to the people who need to hear this message the most?
“Why would I not create a safe space in Tennessee where we can celebrate drag entertainers and celebrate our differences? And celebrate fat Black women.”
Towards the end of her speech, the beloved entertainer thanked the crowd for “standing up for your rights, protecting each other and holding the people accountable who should be protecting us.”
Lizzo then capped off her statement by performing an electric rendition of Everybody’s Gay with the help of 20 drag queens and kings from the Drag Race franchise and across the Tennessee club scene.
The performers featured during the iconic moment included Vanessa Vanji Mateo, Asia O’Hara, Aquaria, Kandy Muse, Britney Banks, Chelle The Bombshell, Cordelia Facade, Cya Inhale, Dee Zastris Banks, Jaidynn Fierce, Justine Van de Blair, Shelby Lá Banks, Shoshana Van de Blair, Trey Alize, Vidalia Anne Gentry, Vivica Steele, and ZXA.
After closing out her LGBTQ+ inclusive concert, Lizzo took to social media to praise the aforementioned drag performers for their bravery and talent.
@jaidynnfierce @lexivonsimmons @vag4short @SHELBYLABANKS
JUSTINE VAN DEBLAIR
CHELLE THE BOMBCHELLE
— FOLLOW @YITTY (@lizzo) April 22, 2023
“Thank you to these beautiful Drag Queens for showing their pride in Tennessee,” she wrote alongside a clip of their collaborative performance.
Lizzo’s posts and allyship were met with immense praise from fans, with many lauding the singer-songwriter for “giving space and support” to the LGBTQ+ community.
One fan wrote: “Thank you, Lizzo. As a transgender Tennessean, shit has been scary lately. Your support means everything to me. People like you giving a fuck are the only thing that keeps me going when shit gets too heavy to bear. Thank you. Ily.”
Another fan commented: “You are such a bright light in this world. You are so important for so many people. Thank you LIZZO for shining your light on us!”
Lizzo’s next stop on her The Special 2our is on 24 April in Memphis, Tennessee.
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