the law

Hayley Kiyoko Defies Tennessee Drag Ban by Performing With Drag Queens

Hayley Kiyoko. Photo: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images

Hayley Kiyoko is no stranger to performing with drag queens, but her Nashville show on May 3 was different. There, Kiyoko brought out two local drag queens, despite a warning from police over Tennessee’s drag ban during rehearsals. The lesbian pop musician chronicled the performance on Instagram, beginning with attending a drag show on a day off in Nashville, being brought onstage, and planning to return the favor at her show for Lady LiberTea and Ivy St. James. But during rehearsals, she said, an undercover cop at the venue told her performing with the queens “could result in legal action,” since her show was all ages. (The drag ban was temporarily blocked by a judge last month; a police spokesperson disputed Kiyoko’s account to CBS News, citing the judgment.) In videos recorded at the time, a tearful Kiyoko said, “I’m just devastated. This is not right, not okay.”

Before the show, Kiyoko said she told the drag queens about the warning. “They showed no fear and said they wanted to continue with the show and come out on stage,” she wrote. “So they did.” She went on to thank them for performing, writing, “You looked radiant and truly inspire me.”

Hayley Kiyoko Defies Tennessee Drag Ban at Concert