years & years' olly alexander tells glastonbury to “shove a rainbow in fear’s face”
'I'm here, I'm queer and yes, sometimes I am afraid. But I am never ashamed.'
As the United Kingdom fell apart to the extent that David Cameron resigning wasn't even worth celebrating, we were, frankly, becoming grateful for small mercies. Heavy rainfall had turned this year's Glastonbury into the winter of our discount tents; Brexit continued to cast a shadow (cabinet) over the weekend; Muse just continued. What relief, then, that as Years & Years frontperson Olly Alexander took to the stage at Glastonbury this Sunday afternoon he did so with one huge mercy, a much needed message of love and inclusion.
"As you might be able to tell by the way that I'm dressed, I'm gay," the rainbow-clad singer told the crowd. "And in fact, I'm really really super gay…"
With Pride weekend taking place in London at the same time as the Somerset-based festival, Alexander then used the band's final song to make reference to the tragic events in Orlando earlier this month. "A year ago we played the John Guild tent and all I can keep thinking about is how in the past year, a lot of scary and messed up stuff has happened."
He continued: "Now as a queer person — as queer people — we know what it's like to be scared. We know what it's like to live with fear as part of everyday but tonight at Glastonbury I would like to see you to join me on Pride weekend and say, 'No thank you, fear'."
Shove a rainbow in fear's face and have a watch of the full message below.
— BBC Radio 1 (@BBCR1) June 26, 2016
Text Matthew Whitehouse