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The 1975 singer Matt Healy felt ‘pretty irresponsible’ after kissing a male fan in draconian Dubai

Nick Duffy May 11, 2020
Matt Healy of The 1975

Matt Healy of The 1975 (Photo by Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

The 1975 singer Matt Healy has said that he regrets a gay kiss at a concert in Dubai that put himself and fans at risk.

The singer made news in August last year while performing in the United Arab Emirates, where he flouted local anti-LGBT+ laws by kissing a male fan and appearing in front of a giant Pride flag.

While some praised the gesture, the singer also faced criticism from some local LGBT+ activists who warned that he had put the fan at risk with the gesture.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Healy explained that ahead of the show, the venue gave the band “a list of s**t that I couldn’t do and they said there could be no ‘gay propaganda'”.

He added: “As soon as the big gay pride flag comes up in the show all the security guys come running down to the side of the stage, trying to pull us off it.”

Matt Healy said ‘it was all kicking off’ after gay kiss.

It was then he opted to kiss the fan, who had been holding a sign bearing the phrase “Marry Me”.

Of the aftermath, Healy said: “It was all kicking off… they were going to arrest me.”

Both men could have been arrested over the incident, with same-sex relations outlawed under the state’s penal code.

Fearing he had put the man in danger, the singer said: “I was going to go down to the police station and hand myself in.”

Healy explained that he managed to get in contact with the fan on Instagram after the incident, confirming he was safe, and in a bar “having the best night of his life”.

Matt Healy of The 1975
Matt Healy of The 1975 (Photo by Dave Simpson/WireImage)

He added: “We managed to get out [of the country] that night, at five in the morning. When I got to Japan I was reading about it and I felt pretty irresponsible and then a bit, well, ‘F*** that’.

“Of course I’m not going to put people in danger, but I genuinely want to be an ally for people who don’t have a voice if I happen to have this big voice in pop culture. Those are the fundamental things I stand for.”

The 1975 singer: ‘Sexuality has been very uninteresting in our world’

Matt Healy, who is straight, added that he has been around LGBT+ people his entire life.

He said: “Sexuality has been very uninteresting in our world because my grandad is a drag queen, I grew up in the gay theatre community with my mum and we had trans foster kids in the family.”

In the interview with The Sunday Times — not a publication typically known for its warm embrace of transgender people — Healy took a second to liken trans issues to civil rights struggles.

He said: “Toilets are the new water fountains… it’s not about the water fountain and it’s not about the toilet.”

More: matt healy, the 1975

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