Beccy Cole defends decision to perform in front of President Trump
The Australian country music star says she's "singing for the servicemen".
Beccy Cole, Australian country music star and out-lesbian, has defended her scheduled performance in front of President Donald Trump on Thursday evening in New York by saying: “President Trump will be attendance and he’s welcome to listen, but I’m singing for the servicemen”.
Cole, 44, who is arguably one of Australia’s best-known lesbians, is set to perform her multi award-winning single Poster Girl (Wrong Side of the World) in front of the 45th American President and his Australian counterpart at a gala ceremony, along with her “wife-to-be” musician Libby O’Donovan.
With several World War II veterans from both countries also due to attend, the show will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea.
Over 1,500 servicemen died during this first joint US-Australian operation in 1942, forging a strong political alliance between the two countries that endures to this day.
The winner of 10 Golden Guitar trophies (Country Music Awards of Australia) told DIVA magazine: "I didn’t know he [President Trump] was going to be there when I said yes to performing. When I was told he would be in attendance, I went straight to my time in 2007 when I said no to singing for President Bush. People say ‘you’re singing for the President’. But I’m not. Trump will be in attendance and he’s welcome to listen, but for me… I’m singing for the veterans.”
Cole added: “In my mind, I’m not doing this as a political move at all. We [Libby and I] will be up there performing side by side and I kiss her after every song I sing with her, so that might happen too!”
Poster Girl is a 2006 non-partisan single, written by Cole in support of Australian troops or “diggers”, after she played a series of concerts for the Australian Defence Forces in Iraq and the Middle East.
“Sometimes you make your statement by just being who you are. I’m not up there to do anything other than sing for those servicemen and their partners. Just by being there with my partner and being who we are, we’re waving our little rainbow flag in our pockets.”
Earlier in the day, President Trump is expected to mark America’s National Day of Prayer by signing a new executive order on religious liberty, which the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has warned could be used as an excuse to discriminate against women and LGBTQ communities.
The ACLU fights every day to defend religious freedom, but religious freedom does not mean the right to discriminate against or harm others. pic.twitter.com/6zxWl1H0s2— ACLU National (@ACLU) May 2, 2017
Meanwhile, Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has yet to respond to the Say I Do Down Under campaign and legalise gay marriage across Australia.