Lizzo Protests Tennesse's Anti-Drag Legislation With Star-Studded Line-Up Of Queens

The About Damn Time singer was joined by a number of prolific drag queens, including stars of RuPaul's Drag Race.
Lizzo on stage at the O2 Arena last month
Lizzo on stage at the O2 Arena last month
Jim Dyson via Getty Images

Lizzo made a bold statement during her recent show in Tennessee, inviting a star-studded line-up of drag queens to share the stage with her amid a wave of anti-drag sentiment.

Earlier this year, legislation was signed in Tennessee that would make it “an offence for a person who engages in an adult cabaret performance” in public, or any place with a minor present.

While the law has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge, it comes at a crucial time for LGBTQ+ rights, with a rise in debates around drag and various issues relating to queer people.

Taking to the stage in Tennessee on Friday, Lizzo told her fans: “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’.

“Their reason was valid, but why would I not come to the people who need to hear this message the most? The people who need to feel this release the most?”

She added: “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?”

The Grammy-winning star was then joined on stage by a number of queens from the RuPaul’s Drag Race family, including Kandy Muse, Aquaria, Asia O’Hara and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, alongside a host of other queens for a rendition of her Special album cut Everybody’s Gay.

Knoxville you have my heart,” she wrote after the show. “Thank you for creating a safe space with me.”

Last month, Madonna added a show in Tennessee to her upcoming Celebration world tour, which will feature Drag Race champion Bob The Drag Queen as a support act.

“The oppression of the LGBTQ+ is not only unacceptable and inhumane; it’s creating an unsafe environment; it makes America a dangerous place for our most vulnerable citizens, especially trans women of colour,” the Queen of Pop wrote on Instagram.

“Also, these so-called laws to protect our children are unfounded and pathetic. Anyone with half a brain knows not to fuck with a drag queen.”

She added: “Bob and I will see you from the stage in Nashville where we will celebrate the beauty that is the queer community.”


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