At a Friday night concert in Knoxville, Tennessee, Lizzo filled the stage with drag queens in a rousing protest against a state bill designed to ban drag performances in public.
Performing at the Thompson-Bowling Arena, the Grammy Award-winning “Juice” singer brought out a host of drag performers, including Aquaria, Candy Muse, Asia O’Hara and Vanessa Vanjie. On Saturday, Lizzo posted a video from the show to Instagram, including comments from the crowd citing pending legislation.
In February, Republican Governor Bill Lee signed legislation banning “adult cabarets” in public places or in front of minors. A federal judge temporarily blocked the law in late March, saying it was too vaguely worded. Civil rights groups criticized the law as a violation of freedom of expression.
The Tennessee law is part of a broader Republican effort to limit drag shows and other LGBTQ+ public gatherings.
“In light of the recent tragic events and current events, I hear people on the internet saying, ‘Cancel the shows in Tennessee,’ and ‘Don’t go to Tennessee,'” Lizzo said at Friday’s concert. “His reasons were right, so why not take this message to those who need it most?”
“Why not create a safe space in Tennessee to celebrate drag entertainers and celebrate our differences?” Added Lizzo.