Here Are the Music Artists Protesting Drag Bans by Performing With Drag Artists

· Updated on May 15, 2024

Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the United States continues to be a drag. According to the ACLU, 471 bills have now been introduced, including anti-drag legislation. Now more than ever, drag performers have come under fire, with conservatives specifically critiquing drag queens performing in front of minors. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, who introduced the first-of-its-kind anti-drag legislation, even called drag “sexualized entertainment” that children shouldn’t be exposed to. 

Lee is a part of a growing effort from conservative politicians aiming to hinder the art form, as well as attack the LGBTQ+ community. With drag merging more into the mainstream, more celebrities are using their platform to shine a light on amazing drag talent around the world and oppose these anti-drag bans. 

Actress Melissa McCarthy used social media to point out the hypocrisy of the drag bans, country legend Shania Twain shared her support of drag queens in an interview with GLAAD, and comedian George Lopez even went as far as to say on The View, “If you’re an enemy of drag, you’re an enemy of mine.” 

Then there are music artists who are using their performances to protest anti-drag and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation by performing with drag queens. Here are a few of our faves who have done so.


Lizzo is known for showing up and showing out at every performance. During the Nashville concert of her The Special Tour, the certified bop star brought out several drag performers, Aquaria, Kandy Muse, Asia O’Hara, and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, to perform alongside her. She even had a few choice words for the naysayers telling her to cancel her show in Nashville, saying, “In light of recent and tragic events, I was told by people on the internet, ‘Cancel your shows in Tennessee. Don’t go to Tennessee.’ Their reason was valid, but why would I not come to the people who need to hear this message the most?”

Kelsea Ballerini

Country superstar Kelsea Ballerini did double duty on this year’s CMT Music Awards when she co-hosted the annual event with Kane Brown and then performed that night in Austin, Texas. Ballerini took the stage to perform “If You Go Down (I’m Going Down Too)” with RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Kennedy Davenport, Olivia Lux, Manila Luzon, Heidi N Closet, and Jan Sport. After the performance, Ballerini further expressed her support of drag performers in an interview with Entertainment Tonight saying, “I love performance, and I love self-expression, and I love inclusivity.”

Hayley Kiyoko

Known by her fans as “Lesbian Jesus”, Hayley Kiyoko, recently took to Instagram detailing how she went from attending a drag show in Nashville to asking the drag artists to be a part of her show there the next day. During a soundcheck, law enforcement told her that legal action may ensue if she performed with drag artists. But the show went on with drag performers Ivy St James and LiberTea. Kiyoko’s Instagram post was captioned with, “We will not be silenced. We will find ways to continue to be our authentic selves, no matter what. We will not give up.”

Maren Morris

Maren Morris could care less about anti-drag bills. The country superstar, who has spoken out against anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric in country music in the past, was one of many celebs to perform at the Love Rising benefit concert in Nashville. During the concert dedicated to raising funds for LGBTQ+ nonprofits and opposing Tennessee’s anti-drag bills, Morris dared police to arrest her for introducing her 2-year-old son to drag queens. 

Yo La Tengo

A special shoutout goes to indie band Yo La Tengo. While they didn’t perform with drag artists, the band performed in drag during a Nashville concert. In a statement, the band proclaimed, “What we did last night couldn’t have been clearer, and requires no further comment.”

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