If you can glean one thing from singer Ari Lennox’s presence, it’s that she doesn’t suffer fools. This aspect of her personality shines through in her songs, as well as her occasional Instagram livestreams and her tweets.
Over the weekend, Lennox ruffled some drab and dour hate-dusted feathers when she, without reservation or apology, declared that she hated homophobic and transphobic people.
And before you can mutter to yourself, “Well, hate is a strong word, isn’t it?” Lennox confirmed that yes, she knows, and it’s exactly why she said what she said.
Now, at this stage of Lennox’s tweets, you might be wondering to yourself: Damn, would she really risk alienating actual and potential fans? To which Lennox revealed: You’re fucking right.
“If you don’t support the LGBTQ community, you don’t support me,” the “Shea Butter Baby” singer wrote. “You don’t support my family and the people I love. So all you delusional and fake religious/self-righteous weirdos unfollow and unsubscribe.”
It’s unclear what sparked Lennox’s outpouring of tweets, which totaled more than a dozen separate messages beginning Monday and going into Tuesday. She disavowed the “gay agenda”—“no agenda can alter what is already innate,” she expanded—and got personal, writing about family who refused to show up to her sister’s wedding because she married a woman.
“You can’t support your own flesh and blood because of years of unhealthy conditioning from religion and media,” she wrote. “People really live their short lives in a mental prison.”
And while Lennox frequently called out religion as a driver for homophobia and the “straight agenda,” she made clear that there was plenty of room to be both religious and welcoming to the LGBTQ community.
“I’m not an atheist but obviously if you church people feel so bothered by my views, why the hell you listening to my raunchy secular music? Once again foh,” Lennox said.
LGBTQ issues and personalities have become more centered in mainstream American life in recent years, but that increased awareness and attention has also brought with it considerable backlash. The Trump administration has cracked down on LGBTQ protections; across the country, trans women of color continue to fall victim to intracommunity and state violence.
And while celebrities like Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga have voiced support for their LGBTQ fans in the face of persistent discrimination, Lennox’s words stand out for their bite: If you don’t have love for the LGBTQ community, you can take your dollars and your time and spend them somewhere else.