Country Music Star Maren Morris Is a Shining Example of LGBTQ+ Allyship

Country music superstar Maren Morris talks the talk and walks the walk when it comes to LGBTQ+ allyship.

On Wednesday, in a cover story for People Magazine, Morris donned drag as country music legend Willie Nelson, alongside RuPaul’s Drag Race alums Sasha Colby, Eureka O’Hara, and Symone, and Dragula winner Landon Cider, and chatted with the drag performers about LGBTQ+ allyship and fighting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. To date this year, the ACLU has tracked 491 anti-LGBTQ+ bills within the United States, with Morris’ home state of Texas adding to the growing number of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

“I’m from Texas, I live in Tennessee, and I do love the community I have there, but these bills almost incentivize us to turn on one another,” said Morris. “They’re rewarding us to turn each other in, which feels kind of like a Nazi Germany thing where we turn on our own communities.”

Conservatives have purposefully written numerous anti-LGBTQ+ bills in order to give power to conservatives seeking to harm the LGBTQ+ community. Morris specifically discussed how anti-drag bills were purposefully “vague in their language” as a means to confuse constituents on “what is drag and what is not”. Ultimately, Morris saw it as a means to “eradicate the existence of trans people.”

In conversation with the popular drag performers, Morris also talked about how other country stars can take a stand against anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment. 

“I have heard the term ‘Shut up and sing’ more times than I can count — that’s always the cutesy little threat that they like to make,” stated Morris. “So I would say to my peers who are artists and to record-label heads, publishers, songwriters: I don’t think any of us got into this art form to be an activist, but that’s ultimately thrust upon you to exist in this space and to feel like you can sleep at night.”

“The Bones” singer continues to demonstrate how straight folks and country music artists can support the LGBTQ+ community. She famously called out fellow country music singer Jason Aldean’s wife, Brittany Aldean, for her transphobic comments on Instagram. When Aldean went on former Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show to talk about the experience, Carlson called her “lunatic person” and a “fake country singer”. Morris placed the phrase “Lunatic Country Music Person” onto merchandise that she sold to raise $100,000 for LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization GLAAD. 

Morris was also one of the several recording artists behind the Love Rising concert in Nashville, Tennessee. The benefit concert was put on in the city’s Bridgewater Arena in response to the state’s anti-drag and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, with proceeds going to local nonprofit organizations. She even dared police authorities to arrest her after she introduced her 2-year-old son to drag queens and performed with them, since public drag performances in the “Volunteer State” would be considered a criminal offense under the legislation. 

The Grammy winner was also a judge on Drag Race. During the reality show’s behind-the-scenes spin-off Untucked, she thanked the drag performers for making her “feel like a brave voice in country music.” She was also awarded with the Excellence in Media Award at this year’s 34th annual GLAAD Awards. In her acceptance speech, Morris said, “I felt a little badass taking on Tucker Carlson for calling me a lunatic for standing up to transphobia. Maybe I did feel a little cool. But I don’t want to gloat. I would never insult the recently unemployed.”

Morris is a prime example of how active LGBTQ+ allyship should work. She recognizes that she may lose fans along the way, but she’s willing to pay the price in order to fight for what’s right. 

“You’re going to lose fans along the way — that is just part and parcel of being public-facing. But there is a lane that you’re widening,” said Morris. “I see it year over year at my shows, the crowd feels so diverse and so safe. I know everyone likes money, but is it worth your biography saying that you never picked a side because both sides pay money to buy a T-shirt?”

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