Hayley Kiyoko hit the stage at her Nashville concert on Wednesday night flanked by a pair of drag queens to protest the state’s discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ laws.
However, reaching the decision to bring the two drag performers — LiberTea and Ivy St James — was an arduous experience for the pop star dubbed “Lesbian Jesus,” as she explained on social media that, in the days leading up to the concert, she was warned by police not to include the drag queens at all.
“At soundcheck the day of [the show], I was advised by local law enforcement that having a drag performance at my all ages show could result in legal action,” the singer shared on social media. “They warned us to not bring any drag performers on stage. I was shattered as you can see in the videos I recorded reacting to the situation in real time before the show started.
“I never want to put anyone in a position to be at risk or in danger in any way,” she continued. “But also where is the line of being silenced? How do we navigate these absurd threats and laws against our community? I find pride in making sure my concerts are safe places for ALL. How can I do that if we aren’t allowed to be ourselves, especially at a predominantly queer concert? We deserve to have a safe space to be ourselves while we navigate the evil that is threatening our own existence.”
Ultimately, Kiyoko decided to bring the queens out for her Panorama lead single “For the Girls” and defended her choice to advocate for her community. “We will not be silenced,” she concluded. “We will find ways to continue to be our authentic selves, no matter what. We will not give up. No matter how hard they make it. I love you all so much.”
Read Kiyoko’s statement about her Nashville show below.