Carlos Santana is offering a mea culpa after coming under fire for making bizarre mid-concert anti-trans comments.
Videos posted online this week taken from a recent concert in Atlantic City, N.J., show the acclaimed guitarist saying, “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 up, 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 okay with that.”
The resurfaced video immediately drew ire online, and in a statement posted to his official Facebook page Thursday, Santana apologized for what he called his “insensitive comments.”
“They don’t reflect that I want to honor and respect all person’s ideals and beliefs,” he wrote. “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.”
Daniel Knighton/Getty Carlos Santana
He continued, “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.”
Santana concluded his statement by noting that “it takes courage to grow and glow in the light that you are and to be true, genuine, and authentic.” He added, “We grow and learn to shine our light with Love and compliments. Have a glorious existence. Peace.”
The Grammy Award winner’s comments come at a time when, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, there are nearly 500 anti-LGBTQ bills circulating across U.S. legislatures, many of which directly target transgender young people.