Queen guitarist Brian May has taken to Instagram to explain that his words were “subtly twisted” to suggest he is unfriendly toward the trans community during a recent interview with press at ITV’s Palooza event in London.
“Yes — I was ambushed and completely stitched up by a journalist at the recent ITV event,” wrote May, 74, on social media. “And it’s led to a whole mess of press stories making it look like I’m unfriendly to trans people. Nothing could be further from the truth. My words were subtly twisted.”
Speaking to The Mirror newspaper on Nov. 23, May seemed to criticize the Brit Awards — U.K.’s biggest music event — for removing separate male and female categories for the solo artist prizes. This move was, according to organizers, aimed at rewarding artists “solely for their music and work, rather than how they choose to identify or as others may see them.”
Referencing the change, May told The Mirror, “It’s a decision that has been made without enough thought. A lot of things work quite well and can be left alone. I get so sick of people trying to change things without thinking of the long-term consequences. Some of these things are an improvement, some of them are not.”
He talked about Queen and how the band would struggle to be relevant today for their lack of diversity, and how such things shouldn’t matter. “Freddie came from Zanzibar, he wasn’t British, he wasn’t white as such — nobody cares, nobody ever, ever discussed it.” May continued in his interview with the outlet, “He was a musician, he was our friend, he was our brother. We didn’t have to stop and think: ‘Ooh, now, should we work with him? Is he the right color? Is he the right sexual proclivity?’ None of that happened, and now I find it frightening that you have to be so calculating about everything.”
May added: “[Queen] would be forced to have people of different colors and different sexes and we would have to have a trans [person]. You know life doesn’t have to be like that. We can be separate and different.”
On Instagram, May apologized to “anyone who has been hurt by the stories” and emphasized that his heart is “open as always to humans of all colours, all creeds, all sexes and sexualities, all shapes and sizes — and all creatures. We all deserve respect and an equal place in this world.”
Read May’s full post on Instagram below.