Lizzo performs with drag queens in TN, which tried to ban drag shows

Many of us are watching in horror as parts of the USA are attempting to reset their legislation back several decades. States are ripping away advancements that have been made for trans rights, which is bad enough, but their reasoning is mind boggling. Florida, Arkansas, Idaho and Indiana claim children must be shielded from any sort of exposure to trans people and drag queens. Even though most of the sex offenders we read about are cis white men employed as public servants, this is the narrative they’re trying to push. Tennessee is the latest state trying to muscle through a ridiculous law that would ban drag performers from performing in public spaces. The bill restricts “adult cabaret performers” so it includes topless, go-go and exotic dancers, but it has “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest, or similar entertainers,” in the language of the bill. Fortunately, a judge has currently paused the bill for being “overly broad,” but these hateful people are winning and need to be stopped, not just paused.

Enter Lizzo. Lizzo had a tour stop in Knoxville, TN. When the bill was announced, her fans flooded her social with calls to cancel the performance and to boycott Tennessee. Lizzo had another idea. The show went on as scheduled, but Lizzo added drag dancers as her backup line to the performance. Instead of boycotting, which she respects, she decided to scream their message from the rooftops, which is exactly what she did, microphone in hand.

Drag performers will always have a place on Lizzo’s stage, the “Juice” artist declared during her Friday show at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Grammy winner took the stage for the second half of The Special Tour, and brought out drag performers like Aquaria, Kandy Muse and Vanessa Vanji, per social media posts of the concert.

“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,’” Lizzo said during a pause in her set. “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?”

Lizzo’s speech was met with applause from the crowd. She thanked the people in Tennessee for “standing up for your rights, protecting each other and holding the people accountable who should be protecting us.”

In an Instagram comment, Aquaria wrote of being included in the performance, “Thank you so much for the platform for me and the drag race girls and especially for uplifting the queens on Tennessee! Those ladies are all so strong and brave and I know tonight was definitely the best of a tricky situation for everyone. Thanks for shedding light for our friends who definitely need our hand these days. We appreciate it.”

[From Yahoo]

I absolutely love Lizzo’s response, both having the queens perform and her comments on stage. Boycotts are and always have been effective and I support them. But they do hurt everyone in those states, including those already being affected by the barbaric legislation proposed. So Lizzo marching out on stage with a fan of drag queens behind her is a magnificent way to support the LGBTQ+ community. I hope everyone saw the clips too. Those in the LGBTQ+ community, the allies wondering how to help, the backwards-minded politicians pushing this ridiculous bill, the children being deprived the beauty of drag and their parents who may or may not support it. I hope this went wide.

I am sick over these drag bills and gender reassignment legislation being proposed and pushed across the country. It’s like we’ve learned nothing. Rather than accepting when they don’t understand something, Republicans are once again resorting to bans. Because repression always works, right? Thank goodness for people like Lizzo who refuse to let the light be turned out on issues like this.

Photo credit: Instagram and Cover Images

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17 Responses to “Lizzo performs with drag queens in TN, which tried to ban drag shows”

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  1. Jais says:

    Co-sign. I am sick to my stomach of these bills. Love lizzo having drag queens on the stage ❤️

    • Persephone says:

      Ditto. And Lizzo makes me love her more every time I see or hear her.

      • kirk says:

        Double ditto. Just when I don’t think it’s possible to love Lizzo any more, she proves me wrong! ❤️

    • snappyfish says:

      There is a quote that comes to mind from the award winning writers of Ted Lasso….”Boss Ass Bitch” I adore her more & more every day & just when I think I can’t love her more, she proves me wrong.

  2. JanetDR says:

    What a great way to handle a ghastly situation! So much better than canceling 💗

  3. BB says:

    Miss Vanjie

  4. TIFFANY says:

    I’m seeing Lizzo’s show tonight and it is already money well spent.

  5. CJ says:

    Yes, how dare children learn about creative expression and embracing who one is with confidence. They should know gun violence! And nothing more (except maybe how great white supremacy is). /s

    I honestly don’t understand how any of these states still have decent people left in them (apart from things like the crippling cost of moving, job availability, wanting to enact change, etc) and my heart goes out to people living in these places and being drained by the level of hate being embedded into policy.

  6. Truthiness says:

    Lizzo is ah-mazing.

  7. sherry says:

    Amazing that drag performers and transgender people are considered more dangerous than guns and violence! Priorities in some parts of America are mind-boggling. As RuPaul stated, legislators are choosing to say “Look over there!”, to distract from the issues they should be focusing on.

  8. Malificent says:

    Just when I think that I don’t need another reason to love Lizzo, she always pleasantly surprises me.

  9. CommentingBunny says:

    I love all of this. I love that she didn’t just invite Ru Girls but local queens as well. Get the eyeballs with high profile queens like Miss Vangie and Aquaria and spread the love to lesser known queens. Keep fighting the good fight, my American friends, from a Canadian who hates seeing her country going to same way.

  10. @poppedbubble says:

    Great response by Lizzo.

  11. Lightpurple says:

    Tennessee has 4 or 5 entries in the top 60 most violent cities in the USA and THIS is what they focus on. Matt Walsh of Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire pushed that hateful bill through the TN legislature and is now screaming that Lizzo (whom he despises because she’s a woman and a black woman and a black woman who doesn’t conform to his beauty standards and a black woman who doesn’t conform to his beauty standards but dared to play James Madison’s flute) needs to be thrown in jail immediately.

    When that bill passed last month, I looked at the newly announced season for Broadway Across America; they’re bringing Mrs Doubtfire and Hairspray to Nashville. That law would arrest all performers and venue staff if a family brought kids into those shows.

    YouTube recently demonetized Walsh’s show, costing him hundreds of thousands of dollars. He announced he would now post his entire show on Twitter. I make a point of reporting all his tweets for hateful conduct.

    Lizzo has become my heroine

  12. Jen says:

    😭❤️‍🔥😭💞😭 Queen Lizzo!