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Little Mix perform under giant rainbow flag in Dubai, where gay sex is illegal

Nick Duffy March 25, 2019
Little Mix performed "Secret Love Song Pt II" under the rainbow flag

Little Mix performed "Secret Love Song Pt II" under the rainbow flag (YouTube screenshot)

Little Mix performed a gay anthem underneath a giant rainbow flag at a show in Dubai, despite homosexuality being a crime in the United Arab Emirates.

The popular British girl band performed at The Assembly in Dubai on Saturday night (March 23) as part of an all-star concert to celebrate the Global Teacher Prize, which is hosted in the city.

However, fans were shocked part-way through the band’s performance of “Secret Love Song, Pt. II” when a giant Pride flag appeared on the video screen behind them.

Little Mix performed gay anthem in Dubai, where it’s illegal to be gay

Homosexuality is illegal in the Dubai, with federal law technically defining “sodomy with a male” as “punished by death,” though executions of gay people are not carried out.

LGBT+ people frequently face imprisonment in the country, however, making the band’s statement surprising.

The flag appeared repeatedly during the song’s chorus, which includes the lyrics: “Why can’t I hold you in the street?/Why can’t I kiss you on the dance floor?/I wish that it could be like that/Why can’t it be like that?/’Cause I’m yours.

“Why can’t I say that I’m in love?/I wanna shout it from the rooftops/I wish that it could be like that/Why can’t it be like that?/’Cause I’m yours.”

Little Mix’s 2015 album Get Weird featured two versions of the song, with single “Secret Love Song” featuring Jason Derulo and appearing to reference an opposite-sex relationship, while deluxe edition bonus track “Secret Love Song, Pt. II” featured only members of the band.

Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jesy Nelson of Little Mix perform on stage during The BRIT Awards 2019 held at The O2 Arena on February 20, 2019 in London, England
Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jesy Nelson of Little Mix perform on stage during The BRIT Awards 2019 held at The O2 Arena on February 20, 2019 in London, England. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty)

Little Mix member Jade Thirlwall previously confirmed the second track is about LGBT+ rights, tweeting to a fan who raised the prospect: “I’m so happy you’ve said this ❤️ this is how I picture it and how we saw the music video in our heads.”

One of the teachers shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize, Andrew Moffat, pioneered an LGBT+ inclusive anti-bullying programme, No Outsiders—though the top $1 million prize went to Kenyan science teacher Peter Tabichi.

Secret Love Song Pt II dedicated to LGBT community

The band dedicated a performance of the song to the LGBT+ community in 2017 after the shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando.

After the attack, Thirlwall wrote on Instagram: “Singing Secret Love Song meant more than usual tonight. To our LGBT+ fans…please don’t ever be afraid to be who you are ♥️ ️‍ “

Jade Thirlwall is a frequent supporter of LGBT+ equality, speaking out last year about being a proud LGBT ally after taking part in Manchester Pride.

She told the Manchester Evening News: “I was really excited to be part of today and to spend time talking with young people about what it means to be an ally.

“It was really emotional actually. I feel like as someone in the public eye and as an artist it’s our duty to raise awareness.

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