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Gay hip-hop star has an important message for Miley Cyrus’ trans back-up dancer

Emma Powys Maurice August 15, 2019

Miley Cyrus and Amazon Ashley perform at Philips Arena on March 25, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Chris McKay/WireImage)

Gay hip-hop star Big Freedia has spoken to Miley Cyrus’ trans back-up dancer about how to overcome the hate she received from one of Cyrus’ fans during a performance.

Amazon Ashley was a backing dancer during Miley CyrusBangerz Tour in 2014. She has also performed in several of Cyrus’ music videos, and is known for her towering height (6’7″).

Ashley and Big Freedia appeared alongside Haley Kiyoko and Teagan & Sara at a recent Pride Summit organised by Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter.

Ashley recalled an occasion when a Cyrus fan threw “a super big gulp of soda right in front of my face” during a live performance.

“It broke my heart,” Ashley said. “Being black and being transgender, we have it tenfold. Has anybody ever thrown a super big gulp soda in your face? How do you overcome that?”

She sought advice from the New Orleans ‘Queen of Bounce’ Big Freedia, who identifies as a gay male but uses female pronouns.

Freedia replied: “For me, I would have drunk the drink first of all,” which was met with laughter and applause from the audience.

Miley Cyrus and Amazon Ashley perform at Philips Arena on March 25, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Chris McKay/WireImage)

“I’m very professional when I get onstage. When things happen like that for me, I probably would have flipped my hair and dropped into a dance or something — to throw that pressure.”

Freedia said the moment can be a teachable moment for the crowd, Advocate reported. She added that, most times, it is the job of security to remove and make an example of the offender.

She concluded that the best response to hatred is to remain positive: “You just gotta keep being fierce and keep living your best life.

“Sometimes we’re gonna have things that try and knock us down — obstacles that we come into in life. I just keep praying and pushing.”

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