Country superstar Maren Morris isn’t afraid of your bigotry nor your heinous, anti-drag legislation. On Monday the country superstar took to the stage of Love Rising in Nashville, Tennessee. The benefit concert was designed to support Tennessee’s LGBTQ+ community and brought musicians from all over to Nashville’s Bridgewater Arena. Artists like Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Allison Russell, and Hozier. And who else was in attendance? Plenty of drag performers!
Morris also had a few choice words for Tennessee lawmakers. In a video shared to her Instagram account, Morris let the crowd know that she introduced her 2-year-old to drag queens. She then followed up with, “so Tennessee, f*cking arrest me”.
We love a fierce advocate.
The Love Rising benefit concert was developed in response to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s drag ban, as well as to raise funds for Tennessee nonprofits, such as Tennessee Equality Project, Inclusion Tennessee, the Tennessee Pride Chamber, and OUTMemphis.
On March 2, Governor Lee signed HB 9 and SB 3 into effect. The drag bans make any person who engages in an “adult cabaret performance” on public property, like Bridgewater Arena, or in front minors liable for a criminal offense. The definition of “adult cabaret performance” includes: drag performers, topless dancers, go-go dancers, and similar entertainers.
This legislation was passed along with additional legislation that bans trans minors in Tennessee from accessing gender-affirming care, such as puberty blockers, hormones, and surgery.
To view drag as inherently obscene is a ridiculous anti-LGBTQ+ notion that is unfortunately spreading across the country. While the Tennessee law has been signed, it won’t go into effect until April 1. Once it does, a first-time offense agains the new law will lead to a misdemeanor. A subsequent offense results in a Class E felony, which, in Tennessee, can lead to a prison sentence of 1 to 6 years and a fine of up to $3000.
This means we wait with bated breath to see what the full ramifications of the drag ban in Tennessee will be.
Either way, there are members of the LGBTQ+ and allies who are actively fighting against it, and Morris is one of them. She performed with Russell, Amanda Shires (a fellow member of Morris’ all-women supergroup The Highwomen) and plenty of drag queens, like Alexia Noelle Paris, to tunes such as “Crowded Table”, “Better Than We Found It”, and “The Middle”.
“Love rose up. Thank you Nashville, the gorgeous Queens and the LGBTQ+ community for showing up last night,” said Morris. “A lot of healing happened and it won’t be forgotten.”
We couldn’t agree more.