Glastonbury 2016: Years & Years' Olly Alexander Gives Empowering LGBT+ Speech On Pride Weekend

'Let's literally shove a rainbow in fear’s face.'

27/06/2016 11:01

Olly Alexander gave an impassioned speech to empower LGBT+ people during Years & Years' set at Glastonbury on Sunday (26 June).

The pop group delighted fans with their appearance on the Other Stage at the music festival, which included their hits ‘Shine’, ‘King’ and ‘Desire’, as well as covers of tracks by Katy Perry and Drake.

However, it was Olly’s speech that really got everyone talking, as he addressed the crowds in one of the show’s more touching moments.

Shirlaine Forrest via Getty Images
Olly Alexander

Dressed in an eye-catching rainbow outfit, he said: “As you might be able to tell by the way that I’m dressed, I’m gay. I’m in fact, really, really, super gay.

“A year ago we played the John Peel tent, and it was an amazing show. And I can’t believe that we’re here today… but what I keep thinking about is how in the last year, a lot of pretty scary and messed up stuff has happened.”

He continued: “As queer people, we know what it’s like to be scared, and we know what it’s like to live with fear as part of our every day.

“But tonight, Glastonbury, I’d like you to join me and say ‘no thank you, fear’. To say ‘fear, bye’. To literally shove a rainbow in fear’s face.

“And all I have to say to finish, is I’m here, I’m queer, and yes, sometimes I’m afraid, but I am never ashamed because I am proud of who I am.”

  • Samira Wiley ('Orange Is The New Black' actress)
    Megan Mack via Getty Images
    "I was just taught that love is the most powerful thing."
  • Adore Delano (Drag performer/singer)
    Gabe Ginsberg via Getty Images
    "My voice is not only for singing, I speak about body image issues, HIV rights, and many other topics that should be addressed when you have a platform like mine."
  • Mary Lambert (singer/songwriter)
    Paul Morigi via Getty Images
    "Hearing women of all ages sing 'She Keeps Me Warm' at the top of their lungs - they don’t give a shit about what pronoun it is.

    "They get that it’s about love, so I think that’s really given me perspective. I think people can deal with it, and they get it."
  • Todrick Hall (YouTube star/singer)
    Robin Marchant via Getty Images
    "When you’re a person that’s trying to be a public figure and you’re black and you’re gay and for some people it’s a little too much for them to handle...

    "I think there are a lot of people who are afraid to be who they are and if I have to sacrifice a little bit of fame and a little bit of success because I’m being 100 percent truthful with who I am, hopefully that will create a paved way for someone else."
  • Ines Rau (model)
    Instagram/Ines Rau
    "It's all about what's in your heart. Gender and sexuality do not make you who you are. Your heart and actions do!"
  • Riley Carter Millington ('EastEnders' actor)
    Peter MacDiarmid/REX/Shutterstock
    "I want to help make a difference. [Being trans] is a part of me and I want hopefully to make other people feel like they can come out, like they can feel that they’ve got support."
  • Angel Haze (rapper)
    Brian Killian via Getty Images
    "Sexuality is like having a favorite colour. It doesn’t rule you, you know? And I should be able to do whatever and whoever I want at any given time."
  • Joe Lycett (stand-up comedian)
    David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock
    "Gender is fluid and I think it’s absolutely fascinating, so I talk about that a little bit in my show. I think it’s important some people do publicly go, 'Hey, I’m not straight and I’m not gay. I’m somewhere in the middle and that’s OK.'"
  • Ruby Tandoh (foodie/'Bake Off' finalist)
    Richard Saker/Rex/Shutterstock
    "To all the bros who hate social media, who pit it against 'real life' - I never would've had the courage to be me without Twitter's queer queens."
  • Troye Sivan (YouTube star/pop sensation)
    Frazer Harrison via Getty Images
    '[Being gay] been a non-issue for me. But the same thing that’s been a blessing in my life can lead someone to suicide. Every time I hear about an LGBTQ kid committing suicide, it’s just so much frustration. I just think about lost potential because a parent wasn’t accepting or a friend wasn’t, and it ended an LGBTQ kid’s life.

    "I really want the parents of my audience to see these videos actually. And realise that their reaction influences their kid’s entire experience. Showing them two sides of the coin: this is how it could go or this is how it could go. It’s up to you."
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