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‘Freedom for All’: Chappell Roan Says She Turned Down White House Invite to Perform for Pride

During her Governor’s Ball performance on Sunday, Chappell Roan told a packed crowd that she rejected an offer to perform at the White House for a Pride month event. Roan, dressed as a chapless, Statue of Liberty, looked straight into the cameras to announce that her next song, “My Kink Is Karma,” was “a response to the White House, who asked me to perform for Pride.”

“We want liberty, justice, and freedom for all. When you do that, that’s when I’ll come,” she continued.

Roan arrived to the performance in a half-eaten “Big Apple,” carrying a torch in one hand and what looked like a joint in the other. During her headlining show, Roan debuted her new track “Subway,” as well as fan-favorites “Hot to Go,” “Femininomenon,” and “Naked in Manhattan.” The singer also shared the inspiration for her Statue of Liberty costume.

“I am in drag of the biggest queen of all. But in case you had forgotten what’s etched on my pretty little toes, ‘Give me your tired, your poor; your huddled masses yearning to breath free,’” she said, referring to the 1903 bronze plaque on the Statue of Liberty pedestal. “That means freedom and trans rights, that means freedom and women’s rights, and it especially means freedom for all people in oppressed, [pausing overwhelmed by emotion] for all oppressed people in occupied territories.”


As a proclaimed “drag queen version of myself,” Roan, born Kayleigh Rose Amstutz, regularly invites drag queens to open each of her tour performances and pre-games with fans at select  LGBTQ-friendly bars.

“The Wiltern… It doesn’t feel like a gay club, you know what I mean? It’s proper. It’s very fancy,” Roan, told Rolling Stone, about the L.A. theater. “That’s why I did so much work to make sure that right as you walk in, you’re immediately in a different world.”

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