Lizzo brings fierce squad of drag queens to perform with her in protest of Tennessee drag ban

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By Kim Novak

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Lizzo has hit back at Tennessee's ban on drag in the best way possible - by showcasing a troupe of fierce drag queens during her show in the state.

The 'Juice' star, 34, took to the stage in Knoxville, Tennessee, this week on the second leg of her 'Special' tour and brought a few extra back-up dancers with her.

Lizzo took to the stage with several drag performers including some from RuPaul's Drag Race, as well as spoke to the crowd about why she felt it was important to take a stand against the ban on drag.

She was joined by drag stars including Asia O'Hara, Aquaria, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, and Kandy Muse as she delivered her important message.

She told the crowd: "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,'" eliciting boos from the audience.

"You don’t have to boo that person. Their reasons were valid," she continued.

"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? And celebrate fat Black women?

"What people are doing in Tennessee is giving hope. So thank you so much for standing up for your rights, protecting each other, and holding the people accountable who should be protecting us," she said.

It comes after legislation came into effect earlier this month that made Tennessee the first state in the US to make drag shows illegal.

The bill means drag performances are outlawed in front of children and in some public spaces, including within 1,000 feet of a public park, school, or church.

As well as Tennessee, 15 other states are reportedly pushing for similar laws to be introduced to criminalize the performance art form.

On the same day that the bill criminalizing drag performance was passed, the Tennessee House Republicans also passed a ban on young transgender people receiving puberty blockers, hormone therapy, or gender reassignment surgery.

Any patient who are currently undergoing gender-affirming healthcare will have to end it by March 2024 under the new legislation.

The bills have caused wide-spread outrage for seemingly targeting members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Among the stars that have spoken out is Paramore singer Hayley Williams, who hails from Tennessee.

She wrote on her Instagram story at the time: "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."

She added: "Drag is not a crime. Gender-affirming healthcare for all, including our youth, is a necessity."

Featured image credit: David Jensen / Alamy

 

Lizzo brings fierce squad of drag queens to perform with her in protest of Tennessee drag ban

vt-author-image

By Kim Novak

Article saved!Article saved!

Lizzo has hit back at Tennessee's ban on drag in the best way possible - by showcasing a troupe of fierce drag queens during her show in the state.

The 'Juice' star, 34, took to the stage in Knoxville, Tennessee, this week on the second leg of her 'Special' tour and brought a few extra back-up dancers with her.

Lizzo took to the stage with several drag performers including some from RuPaul's Drag Race, as well as spoke to the crowd about why she felt it was important to take a stand against the ban on drag.

She was joined by drag stars including Asia O'Hara, Aquaria, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, and Kandy Muse as she delivered her important message.

She told the crowd: "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,'" eliciting boos from the audience.

"You don’t have to boo that person. Their reasons were valid," she continued.

"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? And celebrate fat Black women?

"What people are doing in Tennessee is giving hope. So thank you so much for standing up for your rights, protecting each other, and holding the people accountable who should be protecting us," she said.

It comes after legislation came into effect earlier this month that made Tennessee the first state in the US to make drag shows illegal.

The bill means drag performances are outlawed in front of children and in some public spaces, including within 1,000 feet of a public park, school, or church.

As well as Tennessee, 15 other states are reportedly pushing for similar laws to be introduced to criminalize the performance art form.

On the same day that the bill criminalizing drag performance was passed, the Tennessee House Republicans also passed a ban on young transgender people receiving puberty blockers, hormone therapy, or gender reassignment surgery.

Any patient who are currently undergoing gender-affirming healthcare will have to end it by March 2024 under the new legislation.

The bills have caused wide-spread outrage for seemingly targeting members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Among the stars that have spoken out is Paramore singer Hayley Williams, who hails from Tennessee.

She wrote on her Instagram story at the time: "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."

She added: "Drag is not a crime. Gender-affirming healthcare for all, including our youth, is a necessity."

Featured image credit: David Jensen / Alamy