The B-52’s are the latest artist to call out the recent rash of anti-LGBTQ bills like the Tennessee drag ban and laws aimed at trans healthcare.
“We, The B-52’s, are deeply concerned about the numerous new bills that promote transphobia and discrimination against transgender individuals and drag artists, which have been introduced in the United States,” the band wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
“We strongly denounce these bills and stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community. It is unacceptable that in the 21st century, we are witnessing such blatant attempts to undermine the rights of individuals based on their gender identity and sexual orientation. These bills not only violate the fundamental human rights of the affected individuals but also perpetuate a toxic culture of hate and intolerance that has no place in our society.”
Nashville’s own Hayley Williams of Paramore previously wrote of the Tennessee laws aimed at the LGBTQ+ community, “Once again our state has passed two regressive and unfathomably harmful bills. We stand in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ family and local LGBTQIA+ orgs in this fight, not only for inclusion for our friends and family in the queer community, but for radical acceptance and empowerment for each of them. Drag is not a crime. Gender-affirming healthcare for all, including our youth, is a necessity.”
The Bonnaroo music festival, stationed in Manchester, Tennessee, similarly pledged to remain a “safe haven for people of all walks of life” despite the newly-passed laws. “Rest assured The Farm will remain a sanctuary for those freedoms and Bonnaroovians will see no changes in programming or celebration of self-expression at the festival,” organizers wrote.
“This is how Hitler started, just weeding everybody out,” Cyndi Lauper previously said of the Republican-backed bills popping up in red states nationwide. “Equality for everybody, or nobody’s really equal.”
RuPaul, perhaps America’s most well-known drag performer, similarly criticized Republican lawmakers, calling their focus on the LGBTQ+ community a “distraction technique. “[It’s] 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,” RuPaul added on social media.
“Bullies are incompetent at solving real issues,” RuPaul continued while calling drag queens the “Marines of the queer movement.”
“They look for easy targets so they can give the impression of being effective. They think our love, our light, our laughter, and our joy are signs of weakness. But they’re wrong — because that is our strength.”