Incredible true story behind Adele’s powerful proclamation of Pride: ‘It was just unbelievable’
A gay Adele fan has described the “unbelievable” moment the singer brought him to the front row after borrowing his LGBTQ+ Pride flag.
The offer from Adele sounded promising enough: one LGBTQ+ Pride flag for VIP access to her British Summer Time gig in Hyde Park, London – plus a fair amount of drink tokens.
Dean William, a 32-year-old primary school teacher from Essex, England, couldn’t have said yes any faster, he tells PinkNews.
On Saturday (2 July), William was among the tens of thousands that saw Adele perform in Hyde Park when she threw on an LGBTQ+ Pride flag.
The “Easy On Me” singer paid tribute to the LGBTQ+ community. “Happy Pride. I wore my hair out today to try and be a bit draggy,” she joked.
William had bought that flag from a vendor by Holborn tube station for £8. Now it was draped on the shoulders of an artist he’s been a fan of for more than a decade.
After hitting a bottomless brunch at a Slug and Lettuce in London Bridge earlier that day, William and his friend Jack Burns-Langton, 28, went to Hyde Park at 6pm. They had grabbed a last-minute general admission ticket for the gig only the day before.
He says a member of Adele’s team approached them both and said Adele needed an LGBTQ+ Pride flag for her performance – and thankfully, William always carries a spare.
“I think I’m just going to take Pride flags everywhere with me,” he jokes. “She then whisked us off to the Diamond VIP and she gave us 20 drink vouchers. We were like, this is insane. We’re so lucky.”
Before the gig even started, they rubbed shoulders with celebrities in the star-studded section, including Geordie Shore‘s Charlotte Crosby.
When Adele finally took to the main stage William and Burns-Langton were on top of the world. “We were watching in the crowd from Diamond VIP and then she sings two songs [‘Hello’ and ‘I Drink Wine’] and then asks: ‘Is there a Jack and Dean in this area?’
“She calls us over and security pulls over the barrier and she sits down next to the stage.”
He and Adele exchanged a brief, mildly drunk conversation where he told her the flag cost him £8. “How much did they give you in drinks tokens?” she asks them both, video footage shows.
“A lot,” William says.
Adele adds: “I wanted that flag for what I’m doing later and they said they burst into tears because you got moved from over there to Diamond so I thought I’d give you front-row seats.”
— Dean (@DeanWilliam) July 3, 2022
It was just before her performance of “When We Were Young” that Adele threw on William’s Progress Pride flag. He cried almost immediately.
“It’s tough right now,” he says of LGBTQ+ rights in Britain, “it always has been but particularly right now. Everything that is going on is so inhumane to the community.
“So to have someone with that level with that platform, 65,000 in front of her, stand as an ally and make you feel safe is phenomenal.”
Adele blew a kiss to William and Jake during “Love is a Game” before giving the flag back to them. He’s still not sure what to do with the now blessed flag as he’s still in shock.
A lot happened that night that William didn’t expect. But something else he says he didn’t see coming was the response to his tweets about the gig – namely, that there haven’t been any homophobic comments.
“It’s all been so positive and that’s shocked me, which is really sad that I was expecting that,” he says. “But equally, it goes to show you that there’s a lot of kindness out there.”
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Two days later, William hopped onto a call with Greg James for the BBC’s Radio 1 Breakfast with Greg James. While he talked James through the night, his appearance on the show was played from the interactive whiteboard in his classroom.
His teaching assistant greeted the students as they walked in only to hear the voice of William from the radio stream.
Sadly, his pupils were a little too young to know who Adele is, so weren’t exactly floored by what happened to their teacher. William, on the other hand, knows Adele pretty well.
“She is phenomenal and so renowned worldwide,” he says. “It was just unbelievable.
“Like, you can’t explain it. You just don’t expect it to happen.”