While promoting the release of his new album Unreal Unearth, Andrew Hozier-Byrne, more commonly known as Hozier, called out political leaders for using the LGBTQ+ community as a “scapegoat” to deflect from other more important issues. The Irish singer-songwriter made the comments during an interview with NME, after he was asked why it’s important that he voice his support for queer and trans rights.
“I find that a hard question to tackle in some succinct, definitive way,” Hozier began.
“But I think you should at least try to be honest, which is what I’ve tried to do in the work. There’s always been space in my work for my own conscience and the way I view our responsibilities to the shared society we live in.
“Also, I’m acutely aware – increasingly aware – that there’s always a portion of the population who are at risk of becoming scapegoated when things get difficult,” he continued.
“Political leaders do not have easy answers for the enormous questions they’re faced with – or even difficult answers, which are oftentimes more important for the difficult challenges that we all face with regard systems as they fail us collectively.
“And so oftentimes the easiest thing to do is hop on culture war issues, hop on a scapegoat [and] drum up some fear-mongering. And the minorities in that society are invariably the first to be targeted.
“I think we’re witnessing that increasingly with the LGBTQ+ community and particularly the trans community,” the ‘Take Me to Church’ singer concluded.
hozier says lgbt rights pic.twitter.com/v7p3jVHzm1
— rin (@saintalyosha) November 20, 2019
Hozier has long been an outspoken LGBTQ+ ally, and earlier this year headlined a benefit concert in Nashville, protesting anti-drag laws in Tennessee.
Before his performance, he addressed the crowd, saying: “I’m from Ireland, and the Irish revolutionary James Connolly once said that no revolutionary movement is complete without its poetical expression…And I feel, just for me, there’s so many elements of queer culture that are at times no less than revolutionary.”
He continued, “In a time of political repression and suppression and fearmongering – artificially generated fearmongering and scapegoating – I feel that telling the truth of who you are, and being who you are, and standing up for that, and expressing that is a very revolutionary act. It’s an honour to be here.”
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