Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker spoke out against anti-LBGTQ+ legislation in Tennessee during their show in Nashville on June 25. Dressed in women’s clothing, the Boygenius members, who are openly gay, gave the Republican governor the metaphorical middle finger. Bill Lee.
Decked out in glitter, rhinestones and hairspray for Pride Month, the band members introduced their drag alter egos: Queef Urban (Bridgers), Shanita Tums (Baker) and Lucille Balls (Dacus). Even the cameraman did his part, donning a dress as he recorded the performance from the front row. The show comes just months after Tennessee became the first state to pass a ban on public drag performances on March 2.
“I have a lot of anger for the people who have made me feel small.”
As a Tennessee native, Baker stepped up to the microphone to speak out against the state’s anti-trans laws and share her personal journey as a member of the queer community. “Today, I’m so thankful for my life, not because I get to be on stage with my best friends, and my man, James,” Baker said, referring to the stagehand who brought her a new guitar mid-sentence, “but because I’m happy with the person I am.” She continued: “I feel a lot of anger at people who have made me feel small and erased. And I’ve found it to be a really powerful and humiliating tool to make those people go to hell. I’d like you.” yell so loud Governor Lee can hear you.
As an official state representative, Lee has been a key advocate in passing laws that directly target trans youth, drag performers, and the LGBTQ+ community at large. In March, Lee also notably signed a bill banning gender-affirming health care for youth in the state. The crowd came at Baker’s request, screaming at the top of their lungs before breaking into a chorus of “F*ck Bill Lee.”
A few months earlier, Boygenius released his debut studio album, “The Record,” on March 31. Watch clips of the band’s Nashville performance below and take a closer look at their stunning drag outfits.