As the documentary ‘Carlos’ prepares for its theatrical release, renowned guitarist Carlos Santana has taken the opportunity to address his previous transphobic comments in a recent interview with CBS News correspondent Lee Cowan.
During a performance in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in July, Santana made statements that sparked controversy, particularly his implication that there are only two genders.
When questioned about these remarks during his interview, Santana sought to clarify his intentions, stating:
“I didn’t mean it to be offensive to anybody. I’m not against anybody. I’m not trying to demean you. I already know what it’s like to be discriminated [against] since I was a child, being Mexican. So I don’t want to put that on you or anybody. Be happy and have fun.”
The guitarist swiftly shifted the focus back to his music, emphasizing the healing power of music, saying:
“People everywhere you go need healing. And that’s what we do.”
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Prior to this discussion, Santana opened up about his personal experience with sexual abuse between the ages of 10 and 12, a revelation he first shared with Rolling Stone in 2000.
He explained his motivation for speaking out, saying:
“I wanted to come clean with that because, at that time, there were a lot of people who were having that experience. And a lot of people dealt with suicide and stuff like that. A lot of people wrote letters like, ‘Man, Carlos, thanks for saying that.’ It did help a lot of people psychologically and emotionally. And it was like good medicine.”
When asked if sharing his experience had helped him as well, Santana responded affirmatively, stating:
“Oh yes. I really let go of the experience. And I stopped being so angry and so mean. It was just a natural way of cleansing the palate.”
Santana’s on-stage comments in Atlantic City had sparked controversy when he remarked:
“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. Because a woman is a woman and a man is a man. That’s it. Whatever you want to do in the closet, that’s your business. I’m OK with that.”
Santana later issued an apology to the transgender community, expressing his intention to honor and respect everyone’s beliefs. He encouraged individuals to embrace their true selves and continue growing.