Ariana Grande Responded To Accusations That Her Manchester Pride Performance Is Exploiting LGBTQ People

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Ariana Grande has had a special relationship with the city of Manchester ever since the tragic bombing that occurred at her concert there, and recently, it was revealed that she would be returning to the city thanks to her headlining performance at the 2019 Manchester Pride Festival. However, Grande has faced some criticism for accepting the gig, and now she has offered a response.

One Twitter user wrote, “idk …. ariana headlining pride when she’s straight (as far as we’re all aware) …. and doubling the price of tickets …. kinda smells like exploitation of the lgbt community to me …..” To that, Grande shared a long response, in which she wrote about how much she appreciates the LGBTQ community and that ultimately, she just wants to “put on a show that makes my LGBTQ fans feel special and celebrated and supported”:

“hi my love. i have nothing to do with ticket pricing — manchester pride sets those rates, and they’re mostly out of my control. the lgbtq community has been so special to me and supportive throughout my entire career. the relationships i have with my lgbtq fans, friends, and family make me so so happy. i want to celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me. and also i wanna visit a city that means so much to me. lgbtq representation is incredibly important, and i’m always proud to share the stage with lgbtq artists! over the years, pride events have been headlined by performers and artists of all sexual orientations and genders, including straight allies like cher and kylie minogue. i do think there’s room for us to talk about these issues without equating a performance *for* an lgbtq audience with exploitation of the lgbtq community. if you truly feel like i didn’t deserve to be offered this spot, i respect that. but i did accept it excitedly and gratefully. i’m not claiming to be the hero of the community or the face of the lgbtq rights movement — i just wanna put on a show that makes my lgbtq fans feel special and celebrated and supported. that’s all i wanna do.”

Grande has had to deal with a lot of criticism lately: Earlier this month, her video for “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” drew accusations of queerbaiting, while others believed the song and video were about self-love.