Instagram [@hayleykiyoko]

Hayley Kiyoko has spoken out after a police officer warned her against bringing drag queens on stage at her concert in Nashville, Tennessee.

In a video shared to the singer-songwriter’s Instagram on 2 May, she told fans she was “upset” after an “unbelievable” encounter with an undercover police officer at the venue.

“Apparently my show, because it’s all ages, we can’t have drag performers at my show,” she tearfully explained. “So, we’re trying to figure out if there’s a workaround or what this situation is, but this is fucked up. This is so fucked and I’m so sorry to my community and just devastated, I’m just devastated. This is just not right, it’s not okay and my heart just goes out to everyone navigating this. It’s not okay.”

Further detailing the experience in the caption, Hayley shared that she was told bringing out drag performers “could result in legal action” – despite Tennessee’s drag ban not taking effect until 26 May at the earliest after a judge temporarily blocked the law last month.

READ MORE: Drag is under attack – but these queens aren’t backing down anytime soon

SB003 would see drag shows prevented from taking place within 1,000 feet of a school, church or park if there is any possibility of a minor seeing – even if it is only through a window.

A first violation of the law is considered a misdemeanour offence with potential jail time of 11 months and 29 days.


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A post shared by hayley kiyoko (@hayleykiyoko)

Subsequent violations will be considered felonies and can carry a prison sentence of up to six years, as well as a fine of up to $3,000 (£2,400).

“I never want to put anyone in a position to be at risk or in danger in any way,” the Girls Like Girls singer continued. “But also where is the line of being silenced? How do we navigate these absurd threats and laws against our community? I find pride in making sure my concerts are safe places for ALL. How can I do that if we aren’t allowed to be ourselves, especially at a predominantly queer concert? We deserve to have a safe space to be ourselves while we navigate the evil that is threatening our own existence.”

READ MORE: Montana passes law restricting drag shows, branding them “adult-oriented”

Hayley further explained that the queens, LiberTea and Ivy St. James, arrived about 10 minutes before the show and “showed no fear and said they wanted to continue with the show and come out on stage. So they did.”

“We will not be silenced. We will find ways to continue to be our authentic selves, no matter what. We will not give up,” she continued.

“No matter how hard they make it. I love you all so much.”

You can read GAY TIMES’ full feature about Tennessee’s drag ban here and you can support the ACLU’s Drag Defence Fund by clicking this link.