Carlos Santana Slammed for His Anti-Trans, Pro-Chappelle Concert Rant

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Carlos Santana has taken down an apology he posted on his Facebook page after a viral video emerged this week showing him saying transgender people should stay “in the closet.”

In the video, recorded during a late July concert in Atlantic City, N.J., the 76-year-old musician can be seen pausing the show to share his thoughts on gender identity with an audience of 5,000 attendees. 

“When God made you and me, before we came out of the womb, you know who you are and what you are,” Santana, who grew up in San Francisco, said in the clip posted to YouTube on Aug. 19. “Later on, when you grow out of it, 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 OK with that.” 

An apology, initially shared via email with the Chronicle on Thursday and subsequently on Facebook, conveyed Santana’s remorse: “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.”

However, by the following morning, Santana removed that message from his Facebook page and replaced it with a more succinct post in the form of a poem: 

consciousness generates its own kind. 

hate begets hate

love begets love.”

During his rant last month, filmed at one of his appearances on a 1001 Rainbows Tour stop at the Hard Rock Live at the Etess Arena and first shared on Reddit, Santana also praised comedian Dave Chappelle, referring to the comedian who came under fire for making transphobic jokes in his 2021 Netflix special “The Closer” as “my brother.” 

Santana’s remarks drew criticism from various quarters, including Suzanne Ford and Nguyen Pham, executive director and board president, respectively, of San Francisco Pride

“Carlos Santana’s recent anti-trans comments are particularly disheartening as he is a prominent Bay Area resident,” they said in a joint statement to the Chronicle. “The fact that he used his incredible platform, onstage, to spew hate underscores the gravity of perpetuating misinformation in a society where gender’s spectrum is well-established.”

The incident occurred as anti-LGBTQ bills were being considered in state legislatures across the United States. Nearly two dozen states have imposed bans or limits on transgender athletes’ sports participation at the K-12 or collegiate level. So far about 20 states have adopted laws or policies — including some blocked by courts — barring gender-affirming medical care, such as puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery for minors.

“Santana’s influence demands responsible discourse, especially considering the marginalized position of transgender individuals facing discrimination and violence,” Ford and Pham said. “As a community striving for inclusivity, we must channel this moment to reinforce empathy, education, and unity against the backdrop of discriminatory policies, and to encourage allies like Santana to wield their reach in promoting understanding rather than perpetuating detrimental stereotypes.”

The video coincided with Santana’s ticket release for an upcoming documentary about his life, “Carlos: The Santana Journey,” directed by Emmy Award winner Rudy Valdez. The documentary is scheduled to premiere on Sept. 23, and features unreleased archival footage tracing Santana’s life from his early upbringing in Tijuana, Mexico, where he struggled with poverty and sexual abuse, to his rise in the San Francisco music scene and subsequent international fame.

Having lived in San Francisco’s Mission District for most of his life, Santana attended Mission High School before achieving global recognition with hits like “Black Magic Woman” and “Evil Ways,” as well as the multiplatinum “Supernatural” album in 1999. 

While Santana resides in Las Vegas now and had a brief hiatus due to a heart procedure in 2021, he is set to resume his 11th year of residency at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay next month.

At the same shows where the viral clip was filmed, Santana told the audience, “We want you to feel precious and priceless because you are significant and meaningful. … It’s important to validate and celebrate you.” 

Watch the ‘Rant’ Below:

3 thoughts on “Carlos Santana Slammed for His Anti-Trans, Pro-Chappelle Concert Rant

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  1. Santana didn’t “spew hate”. There was nothing hateful about anything he wrote. He shared his opinion, it had not one hateful word. The gay community has rioted and destroyed property because they weren’t getting their way, I believe destroying property falls under HATEFUL intent. If it weren’t for heterosexual people the poofs wouldn’t even exist. LGBTQ has no authority on the redefining of language. I’m sick of the double standards the minority’s all across the board has taken the liberty to exact on the people that choose not be of said tribes.So, you’re gay, weirs, whatever? Nobody cares! Go do what you do and stop requiring attention from the rest of us! WE DO NOT CARE. Get over yourselves while you’re at it too. I’m far more concerned with the disaster America has been driven into by this absolutely joke of a government that DID steal the election and IS actively doing everything it can to distract citizens with irrelevant matters while they continue to sell America out to communist. The first rule of imposing communism? “Accuse the other side of doing exactly what we are doing to instill confusion” Tit for tat, it is exactly what IS happening. The English word for NAZI, by direct translation is SOCIALIST, SOCIALISM. Get over yourselves and open up your eyes. Pitting is against each other while that assume control. WAKE UP!!

  2. Saying the truth is not hate, he is stating the truth men are men and women are women. I am a gay man and many of us in the community, both gay and lesbian, are getting sick of the alphabet community! We TOLERATE these people that come to the bars and clubs. Every single one I have ever talked with or communicated with are completely mental. I am very proud to be a man and have no 0atience with this stupidity going on!

    I am sixty years old and I NEVER in my entire life since such unhinged idiots as I have seen with the trans and drag community. I WILL NOT back them and frankly I think the gay and lesbian community need to separate from the LGBTQ+. Many of us have spent years bridging the gap and showing there are those in the community who are not complete morons and can get along with people. If these mental cases can’t get themselves straightened out than evidently myself and others meed to start a movement to separate from the community. They are an embarassment to the culture, the test of us and we don’t even want to be associated with these people. God made all of us as we were supposed to be. Those that actually have both fully functioning sex organs should be the ONLY exception.

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