Michelle Shocked | Music | News

Michelle Shocked Backpedals on Anti-Gay Remarks in Statement, Says She Was 'Misinterpreted': READ IT

Singer Michelle Shocked has issued a lengthy apology (in two parts), backpedaling on her anti-gay remarks at a Sunday night concert, which caused 10 of 11 venues on her current tour to cancel her show.

2_shockedSaid Shocked on Sunday:

"When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization, and Jesus will come back...You can go on Twitter and say, 'Michelle Shocked says God hates fags.'"

UPDATE: AUDIO has emerged of her remarks.

Here's her explanation, in two parts (via brooklyn vegan):

I do not, nor have I ever, said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else). I said that some of His followers believe that. I believe intolerance comes from fear, and these folks are genuinely scared. When I said "Twitter that Michelle Shocked says "God hates faggots," I was predicting the absurd way my description of, my apology for, the intolerant would no doubt be misinterpreted. The show was all music, and the audience tweets said they enjoyed it. The commentary came about ten minutes later, in the encore.

And to those fans who are disappointed by what they've heard or think I said, I'm very sorry: I don't always express myself as clearly as I should. But don't believe everything you read on facebook or twitter. My view of homosexualty has changed not one iota. I judge not. And my statement equating repeal of Prop 8 with the coming of the End Times was neither literal nor ironic: it was a description of how some folks - not me - feel about gay marriage.

The show, and the rant, was spontaneous. As for those applauding my so-called stance that "God Hates Faggots," I say they should be met with mercy, not hate. And I hope that what remains of my audience will meet that intolerance with understanding, even of those who might hate them.

Folks wonder about my sexuality, but denying being gay is like saying I never beat my husband. My sexuality is not at issue. What is being questioned is my support for the LGBT community, and that has never wavered. Music and activism have always been part of my work and my journey, which I hope and intend to continue. I'd like to say this was a publicity stunt, but I'm really not that clever, and I'm definitely not that cynical.

But I am damn sorry. If I could repeat the evening, I would make a clearer distinction between a set of beliefs I abhor, and my human sympathy for the folks who hold them. I say this not because I want to look better. I have no wish to hide my faults, and - clearly - I couldn't if I tried.

With love,

Read Part Two, AFTER THE JUMP...


I believe in a God who loves everyone, and my faith tells me to do my best to also love everyone. Everyone: gay or straight, stridently gay, self-righteously faithful; left or right, far left, far right; good, bad, or indifferent. That's the law: everyone.

I may disagree with someone's most fervently held belief, but I will not hate them. And in this controversy, that means speaking for Christians with opinions I in no way share about homosexuality. Will I endorse them? Never. Will I disavow them? Never.

I stand accused of forsaking the LGBT community for a Christianity which is - hear me now - anathema to my understanding of faith. I will no doubt take future flack for saying so. I'm accused of believing that "God hates fags" and that the repeal of Prop 8 will usher in the End Times. Well, if I caused such an absurdity, I am damn sorry. To be clear: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of any so-called faith preaching intolerance of anyone. Again, anyone: straight or gay, believers or not: that's the law.

That means upholding my punk rock values in the most evangelical enclaves and, in this case, speaking up for the most fearful of fundamentalists in, well, a San Francisco music hall full of Michelle Shocked fans. As an artist in this time of unbearable culture wars, I understand: this means trouble, and this is neither the first nor last time trouble has come my way. And that's fine by me.

I know the fear many in the evangelical community feel about homosexual marriage, as I understand the fear many in the gay community feel toward the self-appointed faithful. I have and will continue speaking to both. Everything else - facebook, twitter, whatever - is commentary.

Please offer your translations below.

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  1. "Again, anyone: straight or gay, believers or not: that's the law."

    What does this line mean or refer to? I'm confused as to exactly WHAT is "the law."

    Posted by: Alan E. | Mar 20, 2013 6:11:39 PM

  2. "denying being gay is like saying I never beat my husband"

    Serious, this person needs to shut the f up.

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 20, 2013 6:12:18 PM

  3. Am I the only one who read this and felt that it just rings empty of substance? It also lacks real clarity on the topics she addresses. She is caught between her religion and career, and it makes me squirm if I think about it too much. I guess I should stop thinking about her and it.

    Posted by: Jeff | Mar 20, 2013 6:13:10 PM

  4. Translation: My bank account and threadbare career would like to apologize for my bigoted, homophobic world view. Though I now state it was "ironic" there was no irony inferred at the time I spoke these words......

    Posted by: Hdtex | Mar 20, 2013 6:16:53 PM

  5. What? Just another self loathing (possibly bipolar and schizophrenic)"ex gay" bigot who changes her mind when her beliefs and her wallet are on two different journeys.

    Posted by: beef and fur | Mar 20, 2013 6:18:29 PM

  6. I smell b__ sh__ .

    Posted by: Janice | Mar 20, 2013 6:19:17 PM

  7. What a self-indulgent piece of garbage.

    Posted by: Ian | Mar 20, 2013 6:20:51 PM

  8. Ummm.... listen to the audio of her concert statements. It is crystal clear that she is homophobic. Crystal clear.
    Her "apology" is nothing more than the sound of desperation trying to recover from career suicide.

    Posted by: Joe | Mar 20, 2013 6:21:01 PM

  9. David Badash and John Becker have audio and a transcript of her comments that night: http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/1-breaking-listen-to-audio-of-michelle-shockeds-anti-gay-rant/news/2013/03/20/62883

    Her statement today rings completely hollow; it sounds more like something her manager and/or publicist made her write so that she could still work and pay them.

    Posted by: Thom Watson | Mar 20, 2013 6:21:39 PM

  10. Too few news outlets are picking up her quote from a 1990 interview:

    “I was with my first woman lover about a year and a half ago."

    Here's the source:


    Whatever comments she makes about the LGBT community after she was born again should be read with this as context

    And did anyone actually tape this statement she made in SF? Can they post it? She can claim anything we read is "commentary" until we hear what she said - this latest letter from her doesn't make it any clearer

    Posted by: Jeff | Mar 20, 2013 6:21:45 PM

  11. i have never thought Michelle Shocked was worth my time and attention. Turns out I was right all these years.

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Mar 20, 2013 6:23:28 PM

  12. @Jeff
    Yeah, she is probably at least bisexual. But she grew up among fundy Mormons and then fell in with fundy Pentecostals. Both totally crazy religions that brainwashed her and instilled this self-loathing.

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 20, 2013 6:27:21 PM

  13. From the transcript:

    "I am so committed to loving each and every soul in this room tonight that I could not come here and ignore you"

    Fundy alert!

    Posted by: Alan E. | Mar 20, 2013 6:27:55 PM

  14. Before she released this, I did read an article quoting someone at the show who indicated the "end times" quote was taken out of context, that she had prefaced it with something like "I was just down in LA with a bunch of people who think..." etc., and the "God hates fags" statement is so over-the-top I can easily imagine she had meant it as she explains here.

    I'm a Buddhist, and it's part of my own practice to try my best to have compassion for everyone, including political opponents or people who hate me, and I've more than once been in similar situations when I come across people demonizing opponents and I try and defuse it only to be attacked myself who are on the same side of issues I'm on, so I can easily imagine something like this happening on a much larger scale to someone in the public eye who's trying to follow a similar practice. In my experience, she is correct -- our opponents by and large are people who buy into the fear-mongering propaganda that lgbtq equality will bring about the end of civilization, the family, Christianity, the world, whatever. And when we throw back just as much fear and anger in response, they see it as the confirmation of all their fears about us.

    In any case, I believe her.

    Posted by: Shelly | Mar 20, 2013 6:30:09 PM

  15. Her handlers really have to tell her to stop. She is sounding crazier and solidifies the reports and her audio that she hates gays but wants our money. She should contact maggie gaallagher and NOM. That is her new audience. Oh and westboro baptist church. She is all yours

    Posted by: Stopthehate | Mar 20, 2013 6:32:01 PM

  16. This hurts. "Come a Long Way" is a really good song. How do you separate the love you have for an artist at the time they wrote a song and what they have become?

    Posted by: blank | Mar 20, 2013 6:32:11 PM

  17. Btw, here is the whole 1990 interview:


    Remember that this was before she became a fundamentalist Christian

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 20, 2013 6:33:36 PM

  18. Can't we just anchor her in Anchorage? Or Wasilla, where she'll have at least one friend.

    Posted by: Gareth | Mar 20, 2013 6:34:46 PM

  19. Her views are common in the music industry. Why do you think an openly gay or bisexual American male has never hit no. 1 on
    the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts?

    Women's fear of male homosexuality also reflects their fear of men in general. Note how Michelle attacked only gay men and not gay women .

    Posted by: aj | Mar 20, 2013 6:35:10 PM

  20. As a writing teacher who regularly deals with smart students with, initially, incredibly inept communication skills, I believe her. Too bad she's now allowed that ineptitude to destroy her career.

    Posted by: Marvin | Mar 20, 2013 6:37:50 PM

  21. Perhaps she could explain her first tweet after the "incident" at Yoshi's in San Francisco. Michelle Shocked tweeted "Truth is leading to painful confrontation".
    On second thought, forget it. She has already said far too much.

    Posted by: excy | Mar 20, 2013 6:40:16 PM

  22. aj - "Note how Michelle attacked only gay men and not gay women ."

    That's not uncommon for many anti-gay (or really many men in general, gay or straight) to forget about the plight of women. I don't want to get more into this for fear of twisting off into a feminism vs. anti-feminism thread.

    Posted by: Alan E. | Mar 20, 2013 6:41:16 PM

  23. If this is sincere, I'm willing to let it go.

    Posted by: jimstoic | Mar 20, 2013 6:46:51 PM

  24. She needs to switch to gospel music so she can continue to find employment or she should just retire.....I vote just retire!

    Posted by: major707 | Mar 20, 2013 6:47:08 PM

  25. Having listened to the clip now of the concert she isn't only a homophobic(possibly internalized) bigot but she is a liar. She actively enganged that wonderful audience member who was calling her out on her vitriol. Why then didn't she clarify her statements then instead of going on a rant that becomes all the more strange when she goes into Spanish? Clearly a confused individual at best and maybe just a complete and utter moron.

    Posted by: Opinionated | Mar 20, 2013 6:57:58 PM

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