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Carlos Santana apologizes for anti-trans comments he made on stage

Carlos Santana is backtracking on comments he made during a concert last month that have been criticized for being anti-trans.
Carlos Santana apologizes for anti-trans comments he made on stage
Posted at 6:22 PM, Aug 25, 2023

Carlos Santana is speaking out after footage of him making anti-trans comments on stage sparked backlash online weeks after his show.

In a statement posted to Facebook on Friday, the musician said his "insensitive" comments "don’t reflect that I want to honor and respect all person’s ideals and beliefs."

"I realize that what I said hurt people and that was not my intent," the statement says. "I sincerely apologize to the transgender community and everyone I offended."

The clip that sparked the controversy shows the 76-year-old musician mid-set in New Jersey, speaking into the microphone as his band plays behind him.

"When God made you and me, before we came out of the womb, you know who you are and what you are," he says in the video. "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, because a woman is a woman and a man is a man. That's it."

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Some of the crowd meets him with cheers and claps, and Santana continues on, saying he's okay with "whatever you want to do in the closet" while mentioning his close relationship with his "brother Dave Chapelle." Chapelle has also faced criticism for comments he made in his 2021 Netflix special "The Closer" being perceived as anti-trans.

Santana's apology after the clip spread continued on to say he wants to "honor and respect all person's ideals and beliefs whether they are LGBTQ or not."

"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," his statement says. "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."

The clip went viral after Santana wrapped his 17-date 1001 Rainbows Tour, but he's starting a 16-show run at the House of Blues Las Vegas in September.

His rant comes amid a year that's seen 566 anti-trans bills introduced across the nation, according to the Trans Legislation Tracker. Of those, 83 have been passed and signed into law, ranging in restricting gender-affirming care to pronoun use and banning drag shows.

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