Brian May and Queen perform at the Fire Fight Australia, a concert for National Bushfire Relief in Sydney on 16 February 2020. (Peter Parks/ AFP via Getty)
Queen guitarist Brian May denied being “unfriendly to trans people”, claiming his comments about the trans community were “subtly twisted” by a journalist.
May drew harsh criticism after he slammed the BRIT Awards “knee-jerk reaction” to bin gendered categories in an interview at ITV’s Palooza event in London. He also claimed Queen “forced to have people of different colours and different sexes and a trans” person if remade in 2021.
Taking to Instagram on Sunday (28 November), May clarified his comments and claimed he was the victim of “those predatory Press hacks”. He said a journalist “ambushed” him at the ITV event and “subtly twisted” his words to make it appear he is “unfriendly to trans people”.
“Yes – I was ambushed and completely stitched up by a journalist at the recent ITV event,” May wrote on Instagram. “And it’s led to a whole mess of press stories making it look like I’m unfriendly to trans people.”
He continued: “Nothing could be further from the truth. My words were subtly twisted.
“I should have known better than to talk to those predatory Press hacks.”
Brian May then offered an apology to “anyone who has been hurt by the stories”. He added that his “heart is open as always to humans of all colours, all creeds, all sexes and sexualities, all shapes and sizes”.
“We all deserve respect and an equal place in this world,” May said. “And my grateful thanks to all of you who stepped up to defend me in the last couple of days. It means so much that you have faith in me.”
It was reported in 2019 that the BRITs were planning to scrap gendered award categories in an attempt to become more inclusive of non-binary artists.
Two years later, the BRITs announced their prizes would no longer be split into “best male” and “best female” categories. Instead, the awards said they will adopt gender-neutral categories from 2022 as well as “launch new awards for artist of the year and international artist of the year”.
In his interview at the ITV event, Brian May said the decision to get rid of the gendered awards categories was “made without enough thought”. He also claimed there was an apparent “atmosphere of fear” that descended upon the music industry which he believed stopped people from “saying how they really think”.