Dove Cameron refuses to let anti-LGBTQ+ lawmakers win: ‘They react this way because they are afraid’

Dove Cameron wears pink at the Schmigadoon! Season 2 Photo Call.

Actor and singer Dove Cameron has condemned hateful conservatives for aiming “nauseating vitriol” at queer people through anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. 

Speaking to the Just for Variety podcast, the “Boyfriend” hit-maker addressed the right-wing attacks on the queer community, explaining why she thinks LGBTQ+ people have become a target.

“So much of it is so violent, so hateful and so irrational,” she said of the raft of laws being introduced across the US. “Hate is just like fear in a big scary coat.

“These people are so afraid of what they don’t understand… they’re reacting this way because they are afraid. It is not more powerful than our love, our warmth, our light.”

The 27-year-old former Disney Channel star came out as queer in 2021, but has said that relentless anti-LGBTQ+ attacks have led her to sometimes feel ashamed by her identity.  

“It is nearly impossible to not feel even a little bit affected by the nauseating vitriol that is coming at us every day,” she told the podcast. “Even I have that tiny shame bug that comes up, that’s like: ‘I am wrong.’ You have to be like: ‘Woah, this is pervasive.’

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“The feeling of not wanting to be affected by it is noble but it’s also unreasonable. It’s a dark time.”

Dove Cameron in a black dress with a train at Vanity Fair's Oscars after party.
Former Disney Channel star Dove Cameron came out as queer in 2021. (Getty/Lionel Hahn)

Several hundred bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community have been introduced in the US in 2023 alone, with many aimed at trans people in particular.

Last month, Kentucky, passed “worst anti-trans bill in the US” into law, which prevents all under-18s accessing gender-affirming healthcare.

Meanwhile, Kansas lawmakers have voted to legally erase trans people by preventing their public documents, such as birth certificates, from being changed to reflect their gender identity. And Florida lawmakers recently voted to extend the state’s notorious Don’t Say Gay bill to further prevent discussions about gender identity in schools.

In response, Cameron said that she is in regular contact with the trans people in her life.

“I’m in conversation with a lot of my trans and non-binary friends, anybody who walks around visibly as a potential target, and is feeling actively unsafe every day,” she said. 

“I’m listening to them speak about ‘Do I hide myself? Do I hide who I am?’ I would love to say that I feel incredibly hopeful and everything is going to be fine but it’s very scary right now.”

Cameron has continually used her platform to speak in support of queer kids. Following her win as best new artist at last year’s MTV VMA Awards, she dedicated the gong to “all the queer kids out there who don’t feel that they can take up space and inhabit the fullness of who they are”.

She has also said that while her music is overtly queer, it is there for everyone to enjoy – except for straight men.