The Texas-born singer’s performance and statement come after Tennessee became the first state to pass legislation restricting drag performances, which the law refers to as “adult cabaret performances” that include “male or female impersonators” that appeal to a “prurient interest.” The law bans such performances in public or where children are present and comes as right-wing figures have amped up anti-LGBTQ rhetoric that drag performances are “grooming” children for abuse. 

Civil rights advocates have emphasized that drag performances are not inherently obscene and are protected by the First Amendment; how the new law might be used to target drag shows when it goes into effect next month remains to be seen.

Monday’s Love Rising benefit show was promoted to celebrate “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and raised money for queer support organizations like the Tennessee Equality Project, Inclusion Tennessee, the Tennessee Pride Chamber, and OUTMemphis

The benefit concert also featured multiple artists who rallied behind the LGBTQ community, including Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Jason Isbell, and Hozier, among others. 

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