In a statement sent to Billboard on Thursday (Aug. 24), Santana shared his regret for what he said onstage. “I am sorry for my 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.”
The statement comes after a clip of Santana made the rounds on social media, showing the performer sharing his beliefs about the act of transitioning. “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 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,” he said during a set in Atlantic City, N.J., in July. ““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.”
In another statement obtained by Billboard, the “Black Magic Woman” performer walked his statements back, saying that he wanted to “honor and respect all person’s ideals and beliefs whether they are LGBTQ or not.” He continued, saying that he would “pursue this goal to be happy and have fun, and for everyone to believe what they want and follow in your hearts without fear. It takes courage to grow and glow in the light that you are and to be true, genuine, and authentic. We grow and learn to shine our light with Love and compliments.”
Santana is far from the only performer to share negative comments about the trans community in recent weeks. In the last month, both Ne-Yo and Alice Cooper shared anti-trans rhetoric, specifically making disproven claims about gender-affirming care.