Carlos Santana recently decided to take a break during his concert in Atlantic City, N.J., to deliver anti-trans comments.
A newly circulating video shows the “Oye Como Va” musician sharing his unprompted thoughts about the transgender community.
“When God made you and me, before we came out of the womb, you know who you are and what you are,” he said. “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.”
Santana would go on to reiterate harmful rhetoric regarding gender identity and added, “[A] woman is a woman and a man is a man — that’s it.”
He clarified that he is fine with transgender people existing, but that it is not his business, saying, “Whatever you wanna do in the closet, that’s your business. I’m OK with that.”
The “Black Magic Woman” artist then stated that his thoughts on the subject are totally in line with his “brother Dave Chappelle.” In 2021, Chappelle was criticized for anti-trans takes he expressed in his Netflix special “The Closer.”
Santana’s remarks come as lawmakers throughout the country continue to propose and pass legislation that targets trans people. Transgender and gender-nonconforming children and teens have been the main targets of these laws. As of mid-May, a third of transgender youth lived in states that have passed bans on gender-affirming care, which can include mental healthcare, hormone therapy and social services, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
In a statement to Billboard, the guitarist tried to further explain his comments, but didn’t take back anything that he said onstage.
“Here is my personal goal that I strive to achieve every day. I want to honor and respect all persons’ ideals and beliefs whether they are LGBTQ or not,” he wrote. “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.
“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. Peace.”
Times staff writer Laura Newberry contributed to this report.