Hayley Kiyoko, the 32-year-old singer and actress, is set to headline Canada’s first queer music festival, Lavender Wild, and she couldn’t be prouder. As an openly queer artist, she sees this as a significant opportunity to celebrate and represent the LGBTQ+ community. The festival will take place on June 4 at RBC Echo Beach in Toronto and will feature an exciting lineup of artists, including Girl in Red, Daya, The Aces, and G Flip.
In an interview with ET Canada, Hayley expressed her admiration for Toronto and her excitement about being part of such a special weekend. She emphasized the importance of having festivals that bring like-minded people together to celebrate themselves, especially during pride. While Hayley enjoys dating, she is primarily focused on being a mom, and she sees this festival as a chance to unite an amazing community.
Hayley’s involvement in Lavender Wild comes after a recent incident in Nashville, Tennessee, where she faced potential legal action for inviting drag queens to perform at her concert. The local law enforcement warned her about the possibility of legal consequences due to the presence of drag performers in an all-ages show. Hayley was devastated by this turn of events, as she believes in creating safe spaces for all and providing a platform for self-expression.
Sharing her disappointment on Instagram, Hayley expressed her concerns about being silenced and the absurdity of threats and laws against the LGBTQ+ community. She finds pride in ensuring her concerts are safe for everyone, and she questions how to navigate such challenges while staying true to herself and her audience. Despite the risks, she believes that it is crucial to stand up against the forces that threaten their existence.
The drag queens who were scheduled to perform with Hayley demonstrated immense courage and determination. They chose to go ahead with the performance despite the recently passed anti-drag bill in the state, which prohibits adult cabaret performances where minors might be present. This bill includes “male or female impersonators” within the definition of “adult cabaret,” with potential penalties of fines and imprisonment for violators.
Hayley’s experience highlights the ongoing struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community and the need for inclusive spaces where individuals can freely express themselves. She remains proud of her identity and committed to creating a vibrant and accepting music scene. Lavender Wild serves as a powerful platform to showcase queer talent and bring people together in celebration, making a positive impact on the journey towards equality and acceptance.