Hozier slams ‘fear-mongering and scapegoating’ of drag queens: ‘Queer culture is revolutionary’


“Take Me To Church” hitmaker Hozier has taken aim at the rise of bigoted anti-drag bans in the US and praised the queer community for “standing up” against them.

Speaking on stage at ‘Love Rising’ on Monday (20 March), a benefit concert in Tennessee raising money for LGBTQ+ organisations, Hosier slammed the introduction of anti-drag legislation in the state as “artificially-generated fear-mongering”.

Hozier, whose real name is Andrew John Hozier-Byrne, said: “In a time of political repression and suppression and fearmongering, artificially-generated fearmongering and scapegoating, I feel that just telling the truth of who you are and being who you are and standing up for that and expressing that is a very revolutionary act.”

Earlier this month, Tennessee became the first US state to introduce legislation that bans drag performances in public and in any spaces where they can be seen minors.

The legislation could also put an end to drag performers attending pride marches.

The 33-year-old musician, who was on the Love Rising line-up alongside Paramore’s Hayley Williams and country star Marren Morris, continued his speech by praising queer culture.

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“I don’t hail from here in Tennessee, I’m from Ireland.

“The Irish revolutionary James Connolly once said that no revolutionary movement is complete without its poetic expression,” he told the crowd. “I feel there are so many elements of queer culture that are at times, no less than revolutionary.”

Hozier’s fans have thanked him for speaking out on the issue, with one writing: “Hozier always puts politics at the forefront of his art and I love it with my whole heart.”

Tennessee’s abhorrent drag ban has left drag performers “fearful” and “angry” as they battle for their “right to exist”. 

“This is a movement coming from the religious right, and [it’s] feeling like somehow we’ve been dragged 54 years back in time to Stonewall again,” Memphis-based drag queen Bella DuBalle told PinkNews last week.

RuPaul’s Drag Race stars have united in their attempts to tackle the anti-drag legislation, with alumni including Jinkx Monsoon and The Vivienne speaking up against the bans.

RuPaul himself has taken aim at the “stunt queens” in office in the US who are seeking to distract the public from “the real issues”.

“We know that bullies are incompetent at solving real issues,” RuPaul shared in a video. “They look for easy targets so they can give the impression of being effective.”

Celebrities including Dylan Mulvaney, Melissa McCarthy and Kevin Bacon have also joined the growing number of stars who are speaking out about the legislation.

While the Tennessee ban has passed, anti-drag laws are currently progressing in states across the US, from Montana down to Texas.

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