Music

Little Mix say they’d ‘be doing fans a disservice’ if they didn’t speak against transphobia

Josh Milton May 21, 2021
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Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards pose with their British Group award in the media room during The BRIT Awards 2021

Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards of Little Mix . (JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images)

Little Mix member and LGBT+ ally Jade Thirlwall said she would be “doing fans a disserve” if she didn’t speak out against transphobia.

In a sprawling interview with HUNGER magazine, the British girl group opened up about how high-decibel they are about trans rights and how allyship should be the bare minimum.

Thirlwall, 28, said being supportive of the LGBT+ community is simply “common sense”, especially for someone with such a thumping platform as her.

“I always find it strange when people ask me why I’m an ally because it doesn’t really take a lot to do it,” she said.

“We have a huge fanbase and, within that fanbase, we have a lot of LGBT+ fans. We’d be doing them a disservice if we were benefiting from their loyalty to us but didn’t speak up for them.

“I really hope that, in doing that, we encourage other artists and other people in the public eye to do so, too.

“Unfortunately, there’s still so much hate and transphobia in our country politically and us posting about it and talking about it hopefully helps things move forward.

“We’re very much aware that we have an influence, particularly on our younger fans,” she added.

“It’s important to show our fans from that community that they’re accepted, that we love them and that they should be celebrated – and to encourage other people to be on board with that.

“It’s common sense, really.”

Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall: ‘There’s power in the solidarity of women’

Reflecting on shifts in the music industry that have been women in the entertainment industry increasingly speak out against injustices, Thirlwall stressed that there is “still a long way to go”.

“Women still don’t get paid the same amount as their male counterparts and still experience sexism or harassment in the workplace,” she said.

Little Mix stars Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock at Pride in London
Little Mix stars Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock at Pride in London (Mermaids)

“These things obviously exist but we’ve started to feel more like there’s a platform and an understanding, and that when we speak out we’re actually being listened to and heard.

“There’s power in the solidarity of women standing up for each other and making more noise, especially on social media.”

Thirlwall has long been an outspoken trans ally. She marched at Pride in London with bandmate Leigh-Anne Pinnock for trans kids charity Mermaids.

During Britain’s first national lockdown, as life was completely upended, Thirlwall urged people to still be an LGBT+ ally. Wary, she said, of how many queer people will be stuck at homes with people unsupportive of them.

Related topics: little mix, transphobia

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