After first tackling racism, Brad Paisley has now turned his attention to transgender rights.
Back in March, North Carolina passed “House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act” a bill that has come to be known as the “bathroom bill.” The law forces transgender people to use the restroom corresponding to their biological gender assigned at birth instead of their identified gender. it is an egregious violation of civil rights, and also, just sort of stupid–co-ed bathrooms have never hurt anyone, regardless of gender identity. That this bill targets a specific group of people should be enough of a tip-off that it’s fucked up! But people are scared of what they don’t understand, and fear quickly turns to repression and anger.
In the wake of the bill, a number of high-profile musicians like Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr have opted to cancel schedule performances in North Carolina. Against Me!’s transgender frontwoman Laura Jane Grace used her show in North Carolina as an opportunity to protest, burning her birth certificate on stage. Badass.
In his own act of solidarity with the LGBTQ community across the country, Brad Paisley lightened the mood on his recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live tweaking the lyrics to “Stand By Your Man” to address the controversy. “Country music deal with this in the ’60s” Paisley joked, going on to adapt Tammy Wynette’s celebration of fidelity to offer a humorous but supportive message for trans individuals–“Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman / Especially if you were born a man,” he sings, before turning the chorus to “sit by your man” and asking “Why is this such a big deal?” The cheeky rendition brings an air of humor to a situation that has become dark and exhausting for transgender individuals and their families and friends.
Considering the extremely Conservative political stance that plenty of country fans still hold, it’s an even bigger boon that Paisley is standing up for transgender rights–even if he’s addressing an audience of fans who might not agree with him. Watch below.