Ariana Grande addresses backlash over performing at Manchester Pride


On Monday, it was announced Ariana Grande would be headlining Manchester Pride in AugustIt would be her first time performing in Manchester since the 2017 terrorist attack that claimed 22 lives at her show.

But the announcement soon received backlash, as some felt she, a straight person, was exploiting the LGBTQ community and the gig should go to a queer performer. “i just find it a bit weird/uncomfortable when it’s a festival celebrating being proud of your lgbt identity and then a straight artist is chosen to be the headliner and ‘face’ of the whole event,” user @raininjulyvinyl wrote.

People also were reminded of the previous allegations of cultural appropriation, like using AAVE, and brownface that Grande has faced.

However, many others rallied in support of Grande, noting her work as an ally and her large LGBTQ fan base.

Grande responded to @raininjulyvinyl on Wednesday, explaining she respects her point but also why she is excited about headlining as an ally. “The LGBTQ community has been so special to me and supportive throughout my entire career,” she wrote. “The relationships I have with my LGBTQ fans, friends, and family make me so happy. I want to celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me.”

Grande said she respects what fans have to say and is “not claiming to be the hero of the community or the face of the lgbtq rights movement.” She also said she just wanted to make LGBTQ fans feel “special and celebrated and supported.”

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque