Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman Releases Pro-LGBTQ+ Tiktok Video

Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman has responded to the coaxing of a queer “Christian” artist questioning his pro-LGBTQ+ creds, telling her that LGBTQ+ people are always welcome at his concerts and that he supports gay rights and freedoms.

This was all kicked started after musician Semler shouted “Gay rights!” at a Switchfoot concert, something she advocates doing.

Semler is a queer artist and is a newcomer to the Christian music scene, gaining some publicity after her profanity-laced album briefly the top spot on iTunes Christian and Gospel charts. Her real name is Grace Semler Baldridge, she’s a butch lesbian who’s married to a woman while purposefully altering her appearance to look like a man—giving the impression she’s about one upper chest surgery from becoming transgendered.

Explaining that “Christians are disproportionately harmful to LGBTQ people, her goal was to wear her Pride shirt and shout out “Gay rights!” in between songs and then tagging the band on TikTok, hoping that he’ll respond to her in an affirming message and not do some bait and switch like “I love you too.” (By “gay rights” she means the right to marry, the right to be free from discrimination, the right to access any bathroom they or transgendered allies choose, and a host of other ones.) According to Semler, because Christians have been specific in their hurt, they need to be specific in their affirmation.

Lead singer Jon Foeman did not disappoint, responding to her in a way that left her feeling completely affirmed.

Hey Grace. How are you doing? I’m so honored you came to your show last night. I saw your story and wanted to respond and tell you ‘Yes, I support your rights and freedoms.’

I want you to feel loved and supported. I want you to feel treasured and valued and seen. I want all love and joy and beauty and truth for you. Love and embrace have always been central to our story and our song. We need our differences. I’m so glad that you were there last night. In fact, it breaks my heart to think that you would not be accepted.

Let me correct that. You and your journey and your story are welcome at a Switchfoot show.

I said something like this last night and I TRULY meant it: if you look different than me, if you vote different than me, if you believe different than me, if you love different than me: you are beloved. You are my sister. You are my brother. I need you, like you need me, like I need you, like you need me.

Our music has always been for anyone whose open-minded enough to jump into the dialogue. Agnostic. Atheist, Consumerist. Jewish. Muslim. Doubters. Believers. Haters. Lovers. LGBTQ+ and everyone else brave enough to look for meaning and truly jump into that.

No one else is an expert on someone else’s experience. And I can’t pretend to know your pain, I can only know my own, but I know what’s like to feel like you don’t fit in…I don’t know your pain, but I know what it’s like to wrestle with depression and anxiety. I know what it’s like to feel voiceless in a hypocritical culture that feels deeply flawed. I know what that feels like.

And I’m sure you’ve received all sorts of pain and hardship along the way. I’m so sorry. May these wounds heal, may you transcend them, that these wounds would not define you but that you would define them. May you find peace and truth and love on your journey. Keep writing songs, keep creating beauty, keep reaching out, and keep being honest, chasing beauty and truth and light and love. Keep choosing to see the good in people, even folks who might be different than you.

With all love and respect, I hope to see you around sometime.

Semler took his words to heart, explaining that her takeaway is that they are affirming, a comment he later would like and give a little heart to.

I don’t know if you know how meaningful that affirmation was. I am interpreting what you said as being affirming. If I’m incorrect in that, then I really hope you would clarify. Because I think for many queer people of faith, the bait and switch of hearing such encouraging words like yours and then finding out it means something else is heartbreaking.

We have reached out to Switchfoot for comment and will update accordingly.


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18 thoughts on “Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman Releases Pro-LGBTQ+ Tiktok Video

  1. This is too bad. At one point in time I actually considered them my favorite band, back when their music didn’t suck. I still like their old stuff, but there was a very clear time when I pulled my head out of *the sand* and admitted to myself, “This is not a ‘Christian band.’ These guys are not Christians. They are not followers of Christ and the gospel is not a part of their platform or agenda at all.” So, while it’s unfortunate, it’s also not surprising.

    (Side note: At one of their concerts [probably like 10 years ago or so], I was on the phone with someone [during an intermission, I guess] and I told that person that Switchfoot was a “Christian band”. Some random girl at the concert that happened to be nearby heard me say this and gave me a very disgusted look. Even though they loosely hung on to the label of “Christian”, many never accepted them as that, which should have been an early clue to me…)

    1. If he truly wasn’t “affirming”, he was being as “squishy” and elusive as he could to not call her to repentance. He went to great lengths to identify with her through pain and depression experiences. He even called her his “sister”. He encouraged her on her “journey”, saying to, “keep creating beauty…chasing beauty and truth and light and love.” No mention of God or His holiness. No mention of the Scripture. No mention of sin or repentance. Only, “I know how you feel…keep doing what you’re doing.” Whatever he was or wasn’t saying, it definitely was not the response of a Christian who is looking to the Scriptures for truth and pointing people to repent of sin and turn to Christ.

    1. The world is fallen and corrupt. Sadly this includes many who proclaim a Christian faith, go to church, spout the rhetoric, wear the t-shirt and buy the ‘Christian’ rock CD! We are warned about this, there are indeed many wolves in sheep’s clothing. Instead of obsessing, we need to get back into our faith, pray often and simply follow Jesus Christ, not get astonished by yet another fake Christian. If you do that, you will never stop! Follow Christ instead not worldly things.

  2. I’ve said it before- the “Christian entertainment” industry is a marketing designation for recording labels and film and tv studios. It denotes a segment of the population that will spend money on entertainment that they like. It has nothing to do with the people who write, produce, or star in these productions. They are simply creating entertainment for a segment of the population that they can market to. “Christian artist” is often just someone who creates entertainment for this field. It is not someone who is themselves Christian.

    Sure, there are a bunch of musicians and actors who went to a few Sunday school classes as a kid. Sure, a few of them were confirmed in the Catholic Church at age 10 or 11. But just as many people working at film and recording studios are atheists and Jews. Although SOME of these artists are Christians, the audience really shouldn’t have any expectation that most of the people involved in this industry are. They can write and throw out one happy, clappy, dancey, song after another about how Jesus loves everyone uncritically and if you’re a good follower you do too.

    There’s no reason Christians should continue to be so naive about the CCM industry. Listen to the music on your car radio, even buy a recording if you like it, but Evangelical leaders and churches who promote this industry in their worship services and pay royalties to these record labels from money collected in the offering plate are just blind idiots at this point.

    1. An American Rock Band that started in 1996. Jon Foreman (featured in this article) is their lead singer and songwriter. They have kind of flown under the “Christian” label for most of their history, and a lot of their songs (especially) earlier ones were focused on Christian (-ish) themes. But whereas we understand that “God is love” from I John 4, to represent their theology (as expressed in their songs), it would have to reversed to “Love is god”.

  3. Perhaps instead of following rock bands, politics, divisive agendas, worrying about worldly Christians compromising with the world and their faith …. Etc etc etc….

    Perhaps we just follow Jesus Christ and see where He leads us???!!! Crazy idea, I know, but it’s worth a try hey??!

  4. Seriously, JD, please block the IP of these bottom-feeding scammers who have inundated your comments sections.

  5. I was a huge fan of Switchfoot from the summer of 1997 before their debut album dropped (thanks to the very catchy single “Chem 6A”) until around 2006-ish. Very early on, I assumed that Jon had progressive leanings. Per Jon himself, their second album, 1999’s “New Way to be Human”, was very much influenced lyrically by the work of Soren Kierkegaard.

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