Carlos Santana has apologised for “insensitive comments” he made about the transgender community during a recent concert.
At a performance in Atlantic City, New Jersey in late July, the legendary guitarist temporarily paused the show to share his views on transgender people, according to a video clip circulating online.
“When God made you and me, before we came out of the womb, you know who you are and what you are,” the ‘Smooth’ guitarist said.
“Later on, when you grow out of it, you see things, and you start believing that you could be something that sounds good, but you know it ain’t right.”
The artist then got more specific, saying: “Because a woman is a woman and a man is a man – that’s it.”
“Whatever you wanna do in the closet, that’s your business. I’m OK with that.”
Santana went on to shoutout comedian Dave Chappelle – who has previously faced backlash for making trans jokes in his standup routines – and said he was “like this with my brother Dave Chappelle”, bringing his hands together.
Santana has since clarified his comments in a statement obtained by Billboard. “Here is my personal goal that I strive to achieve every day. I want to honor and respect all person’s ideals and beliefs whether they are LGBTQ or not,” he wrote.
“This is the planet of free will and we have all been given this gift. I will now pursue this goal to be happy and have fun, and for everyone to believe what they want and follow in your hearts without fear. It takes courage to grow and glow in the light that you are and to be true, genuine, and authentic. We grow and learn to shine our light with Love and compliments. Have a glorious existence. Peace.”
In a statement sent to Billboard on Thursday (August 24), however, Santana apologised more directly for his words. “I am sorry for my insensitive comments. They don’t reflect that I want to honor and respect all person’s ideals and beliefs,” he wrote.
“I realize that what I said hurt people and that was not my intent. I sincerely apologize to the transgender community and everyone I offended.”
Santana is the latest musician to publicly share anti-trans views, with Alice Cooper stating in a recent interview: “There are cases of transgender, but I’m afraid that it’s also a fad”.
In contrast, Nick Cave recently of his trans fans that he loves them “fully and [I] wish them the best”.
Hozier also stated that he feels the LGBTQ+ community are being targeted as scapegoats, sharing: “I think we’re witnessing that increasingly with the LGBTQ+ community and particularly the trans community.”
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