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Hayley Kiyoko on defying police over drag queen ban at Tennessee gig: ‘This is so f***ed!’

We love you Hayley!

By Emily Maskell

Hayley Kiyoko with LiberTea and Ivy St James.
Hayley Kiyoko with LiberTea and Ivy St James. (Image: @theladylibertea and @jivy85)

Hayley Kiyoko has shared that she was threatened with legal action before a performance with drag queens in Nashville, Tennessee.

The ‘Girls Like Girls’ singer took to the stage on Monday (1 May) with two drag performers despite the threat.

The 32-year-old lesbian musician posted a tearful video to Instagram on Tuesday (2 May) explaining the situation. 

Kiyoko recounted attending a drag show on a day off in Nashville and inviting drag queens to perform with her the next day.

Frustratingly, an undercover cop at the venue said because Kiyoko’s show is “all ages” the drag performers were barred.

In March, Tennessee became the first state to explicitly ban drag shows in public spaces where minors could be present.

The bill signed into law a bill restricting “adult cabaret performances” which it defines as including “male or female impersonators.”

In her post, Kiyoko wiped away tears as she noted: “This is f***ed up! This is so f***ed! I’m so sorry to my community. I’m devastated. This is not right.”

She also thanked the drag queens LiberTea and Ivy St James for being radiant and inspirational against the odds.

“We will not be silenced”

In the Instagram caption, Kiyoko shared: “I never want to put anyone in a position to be at risk or in danger in any way.”

“But also where is the line of being silenced? How do we navigate these absurd threats and laws against our community? I find pride in making sure my concerts are safe places for ALL.”

Ivy St James, LiberTea, and Hayley Kiyoko.
Left to right: Ivy St James, Hayley Kiyoko, and LiberTea. (Image: Instagram/@theladylibertea)

“We deserve to have a safe space to be ourselves while we navigate the evil that is threatening our own existence.”

Kiyoko shared she’d been left “shattered” and “distraught” by the events.

Of the drag queens she said: “They showed no fear and said they wanted to continue with the show and come out on stage. So they did.”

“We will not be silenced. We will find ways to continue to be our authentic selves, no matter what.” Kiyoko added: “We will not give up. No matter how hard they make it. I love you all so much.”

Among those commenting on Kiyoko’s post was the official RuPaul’s Drag Race account, which thanked Kiyoko for speaking up. Michelle Visage added: “I love you.”

LiberTea responded: “the past two days have been so unexpected but truly the best ever. thank you for everything you’ve done & continue to do. love you so much!”

Kiyoko in turn responded: “love you so much.”

Attitude has approached Hayley Kiyoko’s representatives for comment.