Musicians Who’ve Spoken Out Against Recent Anti-LGBTQ Bills: Hayley Williams, Lizzo, Ariana Grande & More
Conservative politicians have been targeting trans people, drag queens and queer culture left and right in recent weeks, and artists such as Paramore‘s Hayley Williams, Lizzo and Ariana Grande aren’t letting it slide.
The three singers are just a few of the many musicians speaking out against a recent surge in anti-LGBTQ bills surging through Republican-led legislatures, particularly in Tennessee. In early March, for example, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed controversial laws banning minors from receiving gender-affirming care and preventing drag queens from performing in certain public spaces.
Why is this dangerous? RuPaul said it best in a March 8 Instagram video about the situation: Other than the life-threatening consequences of persecuting people based on sexuality and gender identity, the lawmakers passing such legislation are “distracting us away from the real issues that they were voted into office to focus on — jobs, healthcare, keeping our children safe from harm at their own school.”
Many musicians aren’t just speaking out against the uptick in discriminatory laws — they’re also singing out. Williams, along with Maren Morris, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires and several others, are gathering on March 20 in Nashville to stage Love Rising, a benefit concert supporting Tennessee-based LGBTQ organizations.
Even the Music Business Association, which is based in Tennessee, has issued a statement condemning the state’s legislation. “These bigoted actions are especially concerning as we believe the intentional use of vague, inflammatory language will act as a gateway to encouraging acts of violence against the LGBTQ+ community,” it read.
“The music industry is built upon the work of artists, many of whom identify as trans, non-binary, genderqueer, and LGBTQ+,” it continued. “Legislation like this threatens the safety of artists and others, and will force businesses to reconsider holding events in this state. The safety of our conference attendees is central to our Association and will be of paramount concern in planning future events under the Music Biz banner.”
Keep reading to see some of the biggest musicians who are making their voices heard.