The shade of it all! Maren Morris poked fun at the hypocrisy of the country music industry as state legislatures across the United States attempt to pass anti-drag and anti-trans legislation.
“These bills are so vague in their language that it’s intentionally hard to know where the line is between what is drag and what is not, and it’s obviously really meant to eradicate the existence of trans people,” the Grammy winner, 33, said in a roundtable interview with Billboard published on Wednesday, June 7. “I mean, even a lot of these [male] country artists wear tighter jeans than I do.”
The “Tall Guys” songtress’ quote was part of a conversation with drag performers Eureka O’Hara, Landon Cider, Sasha Colby and Symone, who sat down to discuss the importance of drag amid the numerous anti-drag bills that have either passed or been proposed in U.S. state legislatures.
In March, for example, Tennessee passed a law banning “adult cabaret performances” from public property or anywhere minors might be present, essentially banning popular drag queen story hours at bookstores and libraries. Another law banned minors from receiving gender-affirming care. (A federal judge ruled the anti-drag law unconstitutional on Friday, June 2.)
“I live in Tennessee, and I feel like that’s unfortunately at the forefront for a lot of [the bills],” Morris said on Wednesday before noting that she looks to drag culture for inspiration when crafting her own looks. “Like, talk about culture and impact — it affects me, too! I want to sit and be beat for the gods!” the Texas native said. “Even that language — I just said something that was totally born out of this community. I exist in this space of country music, where you don’t have to do much to be seen as a brave voice, unfortunately.”
Symone, who won season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, praised Morris for speaking out on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. “That’s why it’s so important for you to be here, because country music — and I’ll also add in rap and hip-hop here — those genres need people to come out and say something more than any other [genre] because those are the ones that are the most heteronormative,” the Arkansas native, 28, explained.
Last year, the “Circles Around This Town” artist made headlines when she called out Brittany Aldean for what many observers believed was a transphobic Instagram post. “I’d really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase,” the former cheerleader, 34, wrote via Instagram in September 2022. “I love this girly life✌🏼.”
In response, Morris tweeted, “It’s so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human?” before telling Aldean to “sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie.”
After their social media feud, Aldean appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight to defend her controversial stance. During the episode, host Tucker Carlson described Morris as a “lunatic country music person.” The “My Church” singer then put the slogan on a T-shirt, which raised more than $150,000 for GLAAD and the Trans Lifeline.
In March, Morris performed alongside several drag queens at the Love Rising concert in Nashville, which benefitted the Tennessee Equality Project, Inclusion Tennessee, Out Memphis and the Tennessee Pride Chamber.
“Yes, I introduced my son to some drag queens today,” the Highwomen member told the crowd, referring to Hayes, 3, whom she shares with husband Ryan Hurd. “So, Tennessee, f–king arrest me.”