Hayley Williams Reacts to Tennessee Drag Ban, Trans Health Care Bills
Hayley Williams is speaking out against the anti-LGBTQ+ aims of conservative Tennessee lawmakers.
Earlier this week, the Paramore frontwoman and vocal ally took to her Instagram to condemn two bills headed for Governor Bill Lee's desk, one of which would criminalize drag performers while the other would ban gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth.
“Drag is not a crime. Gender-affirming health care for all, including our youth, is a necessity,” Williams wrote on her Instagram Story alongside several other calls to action from Tennessee-based LGBTQ+ organizations, all of which were later reposted to her band's account.
“Once again our state has passed two regressive and unfathomably harmful bills," she continued before voicing her "solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ family and local LGBTQIA+ orgs in this fight."
Williams concluded, "Not only for inclusion for our friends & family in the queer community, but for radical acceptance and empowerment for each of them.”
Both bills come as part of an ongoing nationwide attack on the rights of LGBTQ+ people from right-wing politicians. According to both CNN and NBC News, this has already resulted in things like Oklahoma's anti-trans bathroom law and 18 states barring trans youth from participating in sports. There are also several states similar to Tennessee that are contemplating a ban on gender-affirming health care for trans youth, which goes against the recommendations of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association.
As for the drag bill, Reuters reports that it would make drag performances in front of children and in certain public spaces — including within 1000 feet of a public park, school or church — a felony crime. But while Tennessee may currently be at the forefront of this movement, politicians in 15 other states are also trying to push for similar restrictions, which activists argue would lead to further harassment and violence against the LGBTQ+ community.
Photo via Getty / Todd Owyoung for NBC