Michelle Shocked Distances Herself From Anti-Gay Stance: “I Judge Not”

302px-MichelleShockedCropMichelle Shocked rocketed back into the news this week when word got out that she went on an anti-gay tirade during a show in San Francisco, leading a mass walkout by the audience.

In the wake of the incident, almost all of the venues on her upcoming tour cancelled her appearances.

Now Shocked has released an open letter that addressed the incident, in which she insists she’s not intolerant and apologizes that “I don’t always express myself as clearly as I should.”

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 homosexuality 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,


“I don’t always express myself as clearly as I should?” Aren’t you a veteran performer whose entire career is based on expressing yourself?
Perhaps sensing readers might not get her point, Shocked followed-up with another statement:

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.

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  • Spike

    If she didn’t mean what she said, and didn’t say what she means, then she should just shut the fuck up.

    It’s always nice to see there are consequences to the things people say, in this case, financial. Dumb bitch, going on a hate rant in SF of all places, just plain stupid.

  • Fidelio

    In an effort to diffuse her comments without offending her new-found Christian base, she has, inadvertently, constructed a muddled, contrived, non-apology. Less is more. Sometimes.

  • vonlmo

    In 2 years time, Michelle will be welcomed back If Bret “Rehersal Is For Fags” Ratner can be honored by GLADD as an “Ally”, the trajectory for Ms S could reach Madonna status.

  • Kieran

    I’d say this was a really good way to get your name noticed, except for the fact that she probably couldn’t get a gig singing on a Central Park bench after this.

  • ArtNYC

    She’s done.

  • Ogre Magi

    Typical christian weasel words!

  • yaoming

    I’m not going to go back and read that whole thing again, but, having read it once, I couldn’t tell you what her point was. If she “didn’t mean it”, then what did she mean? If she couldn’t express it clearly, I’d say she’s not really “damn sorry”, only sorry she got outed as a bigot (and a lesbian).

  • Cam

    Funny how the explanation didn’t appear until AFTER she started getting her upcoming dates cancelled.

    And as for claiming she was “Mis-interpreted” Queerty nailed it, her statement was so vague and watered down it was ridiculous.

    Just another self hating closetcase bigot who is now shocked to realize that in this day and age being a bigot will cost you money.

  • kurt_t

    “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.”

    Let’s just accept that statement at face value for the moment so I can ask a question.

    Here’s my question: what does “my description of, my apology for, the intolerant” refer to? What was that description/apology? Is she characterizing “God hates faggots” as a description and apology? Or is she referring to something else? I’m lost.

  • Tommysole

    There is an old saying, “THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK!!!!”This Idiot just lost lots of followers, fans and cash from her stupid UN-thought out commentary.

  • Elloreigh

    Is there a recording in full anywhere of the remarks she made in San Francisco that we could compare to her characterizations in these letters? So far I’ve only seen second hand reporting on those remarks.

    Regardless, I agree that this reads like a lot of backtracking without going the distance. Clearly, she hasn’t mastered the use of irony, if her original remarks were in fact intended to be ironic.

  • Ottoman

    @kurt_t: I believe she’s referring to her description of and apology for the Westboro-types and other fundies (those are the “intolerant”). She’s claiming that what she really meant was that the fundies are just scared and so instead of hating them, we should show mercy and understanding to them.

    And the beginning of that quote you pulled is her way of saying everyone is going to come to the conclusion (absurdly, of course lol) that she ‘hates fags’ because she asked people to try and understand the fundies/Westboros instead of hate them.

  • kurt_t

    Listening to the sound clip, I’d say this sounds like a bipolar or schizophrenic event. It has that verbal diarrhea quality to it.

  • stfallon1028

    Light only shines in darkness. And sometimes innocence is only an excuse for the guilty

  • Jonathonz

    Listening to the audio it seems like she’s most afraid of preachers “having guns put to their heads and being forced to marry the homosexuals” She thinks this will be the “signal for Jesus to return.” She’s now backtracking and trying to save her career by trying to tell us we misunderstood her words. Although they’re completely crazy and delusional her words are very familiar and her point is clear. She’s a fanatical homophobe that thinks Jesus is coming to save her and her fanatic friends. She’s gone off the deep end.

  • MuscleModelBlog.com

    Although I admit that I think she might be bi-polar or has some other sort of mental illness (and thus perhaps we don’t know the whole story), she is just backtracking now because she realizes that her words are costing her money. Everything in the world revolves around money.

  • MickeyP.

    @stfallon1028: I said pretty much the same thing on another thread. She definitely seems to have had a complete meltdown.Regardless,her career is very likely done. She is in need of mental health care,asap.

  • MickeyP.

    I was responding to Kurt T’s comment. For some reason the wrong name came up.

  • ait10101

    She should sink back into the oblivion from which she recently emerged.

  • Dresden

    If she’d have stopped at saying, “From their vantage point,” maybe, her disingenuous explanation and completely dishonest apology might be a bit more credible. But she goes on to say, “…and I really shouldn’t say their, because it’s mine too,” right before she goes into her viciously anti-gay rant. No one misinterpreted her disgustingly bigoted diatribe. She deserves what she gets.

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