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Billy Bragg changes ‘Sexuality’ lyrics in support of transgender rights

Bragg's song previously alluded to gay rights in the first verse

By Ella Kemp

Billy Bragg leaning on a stool and smiling to camera
Billy Brag (Credit: Alamy)

Billy Bragg has changed the lyrics of his song ‘Sexuality’ in support of transgender rights.

The song, first released in 1991, was originally written in support of gay rights, with Bragg singing in the first verse: “And just because you’re gay I won’t turn you away/If you stick around I’m sure that we can find some common-ground.”

Bragg has now changed “gay” to “they”, voicing his support for transgender people. He will sing at future performances: “And just because you’re they I won’t turn you away/If you stick around I’m sure that we can find the right pronoun.”

Explaining his decision to change the lyrics to the song, Billy Bragg wrote on Twitter responding to a fan: “Times changed. Anyone born since the song was released would wonder why it’s a big deal to find common ground with a gay man. The front line now is trans rights.”

Later in the discussion on social media, Bragg went on: “’Sexuality’ is a song about learning to respect difference. In 1991, the LG community were marginalised by Aids and Section 28. Now that we have gay marriage etc the song needs updating and today, it’s the trans community who are marginalised and need our allyship.”

Discussing cisgender women who do not support the rights of transgender people, Bragg added: “TBH it breaks my heart to see people who claim to be feminists siding with people who would deprive them of their rights in a moment.”

Billy Bragg is currently touring the UK until the end of the month, playing in Bristol tonight (November 12) and in Sheffield, Nottingham, Southend and more across the next two weeks, before finishing his string of shows at London’s Roundhouse on November 27.

The artist most recently released ‘The Million Things That Never Happened’, his 13th studio album which he described on his website as being about “the highs and lows of what we’ve been through” over the last two years.