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Carlos Santana apologizes for anti-trans rant (then deletes apology)

Carlos Santana went on a transphobic rant at a concert, which he later walked back on social media

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Carlos Santana apologizes for transphobic rant
Carlos Santana
Photo: Theo Wargo (Getty Images)

Carlos Santana is kinda-sorta apologizing for an anti-transgender rant at his New Jersey concert earlier this week. Shouting out his good friend (and another vocally anti-trans performer) Dave Chappelle, Santana told the crowd (per Consequence), “When God made you and me, before we came out of the womb, you know who you are and what you are. 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. Because a woman is a woman and a man is a man. That’s it. Whatever you wanna do in the closet, that’s your business. I’m OK with that.”

According to Consequence, Santana followed up his random diatribe with an apology on his official Facebook page. “I am sorry for my insensitive comments. They don’t reflect that I want to honor and respect all person’s [sic] ideals and beliefs. I realize that what I said hurt people and that was not my intent. I sincerely apologize to the transgender community and everyone I offended,” he wrote. “Here is my personal goal that I strive to achieve every day. I want to honor and respect all person’s ideals and beliefs whether they are LGBTQ or not. 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.”


It’s a noble pursuit, to honor everybody “whether they are LGBTQ or not,” but perhaps not one Santana stands by, as he apparently deleted the post and replaced it with a much briefer sentiment: “the energy of consciousness generates its own kind. hate begets hate love begets love.”

Santana’s remarks—from the concert rant to the apology to the semi-walked-back apology—are part of a larger pattern of increased transphobia in popular culture, including from celebrities. Earlier this month, Ne-Yo engaged in almost the exact same cycle, questioning the parenting of those raising trans kids, apologizing for his insensitivity, and then taking back the apology. “If I get canceled for this, then you know what, maybe this is a world where they don’t need a Ne-Yo no more,” he said in his un-apology (per Billboard). Perhaps that might be true of a lot of transphobes out there.