Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall admits she ‘f**ks up’ as an ally – and that’s entirely the point
Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall has admitted that she still “f**ks up” as an LGBT+ ally – but the fear of making mistakes won’t deter her from speaking out.
Jade Thirlwall said allies must make a conscious effort to “use the right language and pronouns”, but said “nobody is expecting you to suddenly know it all”.
“I don’t think there’s such a thing as a perfect ally. I’m still very much learning,” Thirlwall wrote.
She went on to reflect on the backlash Little Mix faced from some fans in April when they released the music video for “Confetti”. While the video was “incredibly inclusive”, Thirlwall and her bandmates were criticised for not including any drag kings.
Some fans were “frustrated”, Thirlwall said, admitting that they “had every right to be”.
“You can have the right intentions and still fall short. As an open ally I should have thought about that, and I hadn’t, and for that I apologise,” she said.
“Since then I’ve been doing more research on drag king culture, because it’s definitely something I didn’t know enough about, whether that was because it isn’t as mainstream yet mixed with my own ignorance.
“But the point is we mess up, we apologise, we learn from it and we move forward with that knowledge.
“Don’t let the fear of f**king up scare you off. And make sure you are speaking alongside the community, not for the community.”
Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall has faced ‘an army of Twitter warriors’ for saying the wrong thing
Elsewhere in the article, Thirlwall heaped praise on her queer friends for bringing her “into their world” after she first moved to London.
Little Mix went on to build a huge LGBT+ fanbase – a fact Thirlwall came to understand when she heard their music every time she went to a gay bar.
Later, Thirlwall came to see how important it was that she use her platform to speak out on LGBT+ rights after she started receiving heartfelt messages from queer fans detailing their plight.
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That journey led to the group displaying the Pride flag on-stage in Dubai in 2019 – a striking act of defiance that generated media coverage across the world.
Over the last couple of years, Thirlwall has been doing everything she can to educate herself on issues facing the LGBT+ community. She met with Stonewall to discuss how she could use her platform to benefit the community, and she spent lockdown reading books about LGBT+ history.
“Stonewall is facing media attacks for its trans-inclusive strategies and there is an alarming amount of seemingly increasing transphobia in the UK today and we need to be doing more to stand with the trans community,” Thirlwall wrote.
However, the singer went on to note that she feels increasing pressure as a public figure to always say “the right thing, especially with cancel culture becoming more popular.”
Thirlwall said she has faced “an army of Twitter warriors” when she has gotten things wrong in the past.
“When that’s happened to me before I’ve scared myself into thinking I should STFU and not say anything, but I have to remember that I am human, I’m going to f**k up now and again and as long as I’m continuing to educate myself to do better next time then that’s OK.”