lady liberty

Chappell Roan declined an offer to perform at the White House for Pride for this reason

Rising pop sensation Chappell Roan was one of the performers at the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City yesterday. 

The Missouri-raised, queer 26-year-old, who some are heralding as the new Lady Gaga, is known for dressing in drag. Fittingly for a performance in New York, she emerged on stage from a fake, big apple dressed as one of the city’s most famous female icons: The Statue of Liberty. 

During one part of the set, before launching into her song “My Kink Is Karma”, Roan revealed she turned down an offer to play at the White House for a Pride Month event. 

“As a response to the White House, who asked me to perform for Pride,” Roan said in a video posted to X. “We want liberty, justice and freedom for all. When you do that, that’s when I’ll come.”

“Freedom for all oppressed people in occupied territories”

Many are taking the comment as a criticism of the Biden administration’s policies regarding the actions of the Israeli government and military in Gaza. 

Earlier in her performance, and referencing her costume, Roan read an excerpt from Emma Lazarus’ 1883 sonnet, “The New Colossus”. Its words appear on the Statue of Liberty. 

“I am in drag of the biggest queen of all,” Roan told the audience. “But in case you had forgotten what’s etched on my pretty little toes, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’”

“That means freedom in trans rights,” Roan continued. “That means freedom in women’s rights. And it especially means freedom for all people and oppressed. It especially means freedom for all oppressed people in occupied territories.” 

A representative for the singer confirmed to Variety that the White House had reached out to Roan via her management and was declined.

Now song

Roan’s star has risen quickly since she released her debut album, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess, last September. Born Kayleigh Rose Amstutz, Chappell Roan is part stage name and part drag persona. 

She enjoyed her biggest hit yet with the stand-alone single, “Good Luck, Babe”, in April. Roan fans were thrilled that she debuted a new song, “Subway”, at her concert yesterday. 

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