Yo La Tengo Performed In Drag In Nashville To Protest New Tennessee Law
Yo La Tengo performed in drag at their show in Nashville on Monday night in protest of the recently passed Tennessee law that restricts drag performances in public. As The Tennessean reports, the band’s Ira Kaplan and James McNew came out dressed in drag during the second half of their set at the Basement East.
Though the band didn’t explicitly address the new legislation on stage, it’s the latest in a line of music-world acknowledgements of the ban. At the beginning of the month, Bonnaroo — which takes place Manchester, TN — issued a statement in response, saying that the festival “will remain a sanctuary for those freedoms and Bonnaroovians will see no changes in programming or celebration of self-expression at the festival.” And later this week, Hayley Williams, Jason Isbell, Julien Baker, and more will perform at a benefit concert for Tennessee LGBTQIA+ organizations.
The bill, which is set to go into effect on April 1, is part of a series of legislation signed into law by Governor Bill Lee that also issues a ban on gender-affirming care for minors. The law restricting drag prohibits “adult-oriented entertainment” to take place on public property, limiting it to age-restricted venues, and specifically mentions “male and female impersonators.”
Here are some photos from the show:
Yo La Tengo are currently on tour in support of their new album This Stupid World, and they’ll play the same venue in Nashville tonight (Tuesday, March 14).