Maynard James Keenan Says He Wasn't Protesting Florida's Drag Ban with Stage Outfit: "I'm Not a Political Fella"

"I've been cross-dressing since long before these clickbait-junkie dupes were out of diapers"

Photo: Markus Felix

BY Kaelen BellPublished May 23, 2023

Tool's Maynard James Keenan showed up dressed in drag to his band's set at Florida's Welcome to Rockville festival on Sunday (May 21), and plenty of people understandably assumed the outfit choice was in protest of the state's new law targeting drag shows, which creepy scumbag governor Ron DeSantis signed into law only days earlier. 

Turns out that's not exactly the case — in a new interview with The Messenger, Keenan said he's "not a political fella — had nothing to do with Florida," about his on-stage outfit at Welcome to Rockville. 

"I've been cross-dressing since long before these clickbait-junkie dupes were out of diapers," he continued. "It's pretty crazy the technology and the prosthetics nowadays, how they've come along, and I just was considering bringing the look back."

"It's amazing to me how every single thing you say or do is twisted and conformed into some fundamentalist far-right or far-left agenda," Keenan went on to say. 

Regardless of any weird centrist intent (or lack thereof), dressing in drag publicly in a state that's banned doing exactly that is a political statement, so Keenan probably should have expected people to read it as such. 

Still, Keenan seems generally on the right side of Florida's hateful "save our children" trans panic, telling The Messenger, "I think limiting people's access to anything is absurd. Good parenting allows you to teach your kids how to be reasonable and reason and puzzle things out and decide for themselves what the fuck they wanna see or not wanna see."

Keenan wearing drag while performing at an all-ages festival technically put him in violation of Florida's new law, but he said he hasn't received any official pushback. "Nobody's enforcing it," he said. "They just do that and they throw it out there to shore up their base for an election year."

When asked if he "claims membership in the drag community," Keenan said, "I guess so, yeah. On occasion, I am a drag queen; I've been a drag queen. I'm casual, so the hardcore people are going to dismiss me as being a tourist. Let's be honest, I'm 59. So last night's performance looked more like Brienne of Tarth on her worst day."

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