On Friday, Lizzo brought out drag queens during her concert in Knoxville, Tennessee to protest public drag performances being restricted in the state.
The Grammy-winning singer invited many drag artists to perform with her on stage at Thompson-Boling Arena, including Aquaria, Kandy Muse, Asia O’Hara, and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo.
On Instagram, Lizzo shared a series of recordings from the performance on Saturday, including her comments to the audience that alluded to the proposed law.
In one post she said, “Knoxville you have my heart. Thank you for creating a safe space with me.”
In February, the law prohibiting “adult cabaret” in public or in front of minors was approved by Republican governor Bill Lee.
Due to its ambiguous language, a federal judge temporarily suspended the measure in late March. The measure has drawn criticism from civil rights organizations for impinging on the right to free speech.
Drag shows and other LGBTQ+ events are restricted by the Tennessee law as part of a wider Republican effort.
“In light of recent and tragic events and current events, I was told by people on the internet, ‘Cancel your shows in Tennessee,’ ‘Don’t go to Tennessee,’” Lizzo said during the Friday concert. “Their reason was valid, but why would I not come to the people who need to hear this message the most?”
“Why would I not create a safe space in Tennessee where we can celebrate drag entertainers and celebrate our differences?” she added.