Lizzo speaks out against anti-abortion and anti-trans policies in home state of Texas

The singer called the restrictive Texas policies ‘a violation of human rights’ at the SXSW festival in Austin

Meredith Clark
New York
Monday 14 March 2022 22:57 GMT
Lizzo calls on people to 'stop rewarding negativity'

Grammy-winning singer Lizzo spoke out against controversial Texas policies at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin.

During a keynote address on Sunday 13 March, the Juice singer represented her home state of Texas at the festival, but made it clear that she did not support its recent policies restricting abortion access and targeting transgender children.

“I’m proud to rep Houston, but I’m not proud to rep Texan politics right now,” the 33-year-old performer said. “There are very regressive laws being passed.”

Last month, governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate the use of gender-affirming care on transgender children. Attorney General Ken Paxton determined the use of treatments such as puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and gender-confirmation surgery to be considered “child abuse”. A Texas judge on Friday temporarily blocked the state from enforcing the investigation into parents of transgender children.

“They are taking away the right for young children to have a chance to live authentically as themselves and it’s a violation of human rights,” Lizzo said at SXSW. “Trans rights are human rights, period.”

The Hustlers actress also took a stand against the state’s strict law that bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, which critics say is long before many women are even aware that they’re pregnant. The legislation was passed in September 2021 and has since failed to be repealed by the US Supreme Court or the Texas Supreme Court.

“We got a lot of other things y’all need to be handling, instead of y’all being in people’s homes telling them what to do with their body and being all up in their uterus,” Lizzo said. “Mind your business. Stay out of my body. This is not political.”

The singer, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, recognised her ability to incite change within the music industry, but understands that she is only one person. “I am changing things on a cultural level because I’m a part of the culture. I’m a musician, I’m an actress,” Lizzo said. “But there are people in charge who can change things on a systemic level and they’re letting us down.”

Apart from her new reality series Watch Out for the Big Grrrls – which premieres on Amazon Prime Video on 25 March – Lizzo also revealed at the festival that a new album is on the way. “Literally, I’m flying home today to master my album, so it’s coming very, very soon,” she said, per Austin 360.

Lizzo also detailed how she found self-love through twerking, after the singer gave a TED Talk on the Black history of twerking last year.

“Twerking led me to falling in love with my ass, led me to looking in the mirror, led me to discovering myself and kind of excavating who I am, and falling in love with that person,” she said.

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