Lizzo slammed new Texas laws and policies that restrict access to abortion and target trans children and their families during a keynote conversation at South By Southwest on Sunday. The pop star, who grew up in Houston, said the controversial moves unfairly target women and the LGBTQ community.
“I’m proud to rep Houston, but I’m not proud to rep Texas politics right now,” Lizzo said to loud applause.
“Mind your business,” she added. “Trans rights are human rights.”
The singer was equally impassioned when discussing Texas lawmakers ban on abortion after six weeks, or at the detection of a fetal heartbeat, blasting conservative politicians for being “all up in your uterus.” Opponents of the law say that most women are unaware of pregnancies at that point.
“The abortion ban is atrocious,” Lizzo said. “Mind your business. Stay out of my body. This is not political.”
On the LGBTQ front, queer communities and allies across the nation were outraged over comments from Texas Gov. Gregg Abbot last month, who called on child protective services and private citizens to report families that appear to be supporting children undergoing “elective procedures for gender transitioning.” Abbott also pledged that other state agencies would investigate these issues.
“We got a lot of other things that we need,” Lizzo said, adding, “there are people in charge who can change things on a systemic level and they’re letting us down.”
Those political actions have drawn widespread condemnation from the SXSW crowd, with the likes of Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic nominee for governor, using the forum to criticize the moves by Gov. Abbott and his supporters.
Lizzo came to the annual celebration of music, movies and media in part to plug her new unscripted reality competition series, “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” which premieres on Amazon on March 24. She also brought a message of empowerment, reminding the packed auditorium of fans to love themselves.
She spoke frankly about the fact that growing up there were a lack of plus-sized music and media icons, a state of affairs that she is working to change both through her own example and on her show, which centers on the search for full-figured dancers and models.
“I used to get called fat a-- every single day on the bus,” she remembered, adding “they don’t set us up to see our value and our worth especially as Black women, especially as big Black women.”
The hope is that the show will spawn a new generation of superstars and promote body positivity.
“I want to lift these women up… I hope they all become superstars after this,” Lizzo said.
Lizzo also used her time on stage to drop some news. The pop star said she will fly home after SXSW to “master my album,” telling the crowd that her follow up to 2019’s “Cuz I Love You” is done.
“I worked real hard on this, so it better be good,” Lizzo said. “But it’s good.”