Lizzo Slams “Regressive” Texas Policies On Trans Kids and Abortion
While people often reduce Lizzo’s politics to her being a confident, body positive ~*kween*~, that isn’t the half of it — she’s also willing to throw down for reproductive justice and trans rights, as demonstrated in a speech she gave at South by Southwest in Austin on Sunday.
The Houston-born singer sounded off on Texas’ recent moves to pass a 15-week abortion ban and to investigate parents of trans children as child abusers. Although Lizzo was there to promote her forthcoming Amazon Prime series “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” she also took some time to spotlight the multiple crises in the Lone Star State.
“I’m proud to rep Houston but I’m not proud to rep Texan politics right now,” the singer said, as documented in a short clip posted by Twitter user @bleudawn7. “There are very regressive laws being passed.”
“They’re taking away the right for young children to have a chance to live authentically as themselves,” she added. “It’s a violation of human rights. Trans rights are human rights.”
The singer was referring to Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent directive to the Texas Department of Family Protective Services to investigate the parents of trans children for “child abuse,” based on his opinion that providing gender-affirming care to minors constitutes child abuse. While horrific, it is also worth noting that Abbott’s opinion does not actually constitute a law; in fact, the governor likely took this approach because Texas’ numerous attempts in 2021 to pass a law that would restrict gender-affirming care for youth failed.
A Texas judge granted an injunction against Abbott’s directive last week, meaning that DFPS cannot investigate families under that directive for the time being. The judge set a trial date for July 11 to determine whether the directive will stand permanently.
However, Texas’ ban on abortions that take place after six weeks of pregnancy, which is essentially a blanket ban on all abortions since most pregnancies are not detected within that timeframe, does indeed remain on the books. After months of litigation, the Republican-controlled Texas Supreme Court on Friday essentially granted legal immunity to medical licensing officials, who cannot be sued for enforcing the ban. In essence, the lawsuit that sought to block the ban has effectively been killed, and abortion providers are left with few options for legal recourse.
The “Truth Hurts” singer spoke out on the abortion ban as well, drawing a connection between reproductive rights and trans rights.
“Y’all, we got a lotta other things y’all need to be handling instead of y’all being in people’s homes telling them what to do with they body, and being all up in they uterus,” she said to raucous applause. “The abortion ban is atrocious as well. Mind your business. Stay out of my body.”
The singer concluded her speech by noting her own limits as a force for change, saying that she’s “changing things on a cultural level, because I’m a part of the culture.”
“But there are people in charge who can change things on a systemic level and they’re letting us down,” she added, before quipping, “Why men great ‘til they gotta be great? It’s like, be great, y’know? Represent the people!”