While performing for the first time in Dubai, Matt Healy, lead singer for the UK band The 1975, responded to a male fan’s request to “marry me” by heading into the crowd and laying some lip-lock on the fan.
Billboard reports the moment happened during the performance of the band’s song, “Loving Someone.”
As he returned to the stage amid loud cheers from the crowd, Healy said, “I love you, bro – we’re all human, right?”
The kiss was noteworthy not only for the artist/fan interaction but also due to the severe anti-homosexuality laws in the United Arab Emirates where being gay is punishable by up to ten years in prison.
— billboard (@billboard) August 16, 2019
At another moment during the concert, Healy stopped to speak directly to the adversity LGBTQ people face in the Arab country and acknowledged the risk he faced even addressing the subject.
“I just want us to identify as humans and not as groups of individual different people,” he told the crowd. “I’m sorry, I know it seems indulgent for me to cry but I do this every night and it’s the same thing, I see so much passion and pain, and I know what you guys are going through and I know you’re not representative of your governments.”
And the crowd goes wild!
— ⓚⓐⓣⓡⓘⓝⓐ (@ninjaaa__) August 14, 2019
WOKE KING! Thank you for always making the LGBTQ+ family feel welcome no matter where we are ❤️🏳️🌈
— Matty (@1005bloom) August 15, 2019
thank you for everything. You made it matter. Your words gave us all a sense of belonging and welcoming that were deprived of. That you for pointing out that we matter. I love you.
— ᴀsʜ (@CHERRYVIMT0) August 15, 2019
So proud of you. You made a safe space for those kids and gave them a night they’ll never forget
— a l l y s o n (@music_4_crying) August 15, 2019
The band, which won Best Album and Best Group at this year’s Brit Awards, has seen all three of their studio albums hit number one on the UK charts.
The 1975 has a history of LGBTQ support. Last year, the band kicked in £50,000 to help fund London’s new LGBTQ center.
At the time, Healy told The Observer, “You might wonder why it is needed, and even ask yourself what exactly is everyone still scared of, but sadly, I think stigma still exists even in London and we still have some way to go.”
After the Dubai concert, Healy took to Twitter to say he “wouldn’t have done anything differently given the chance again.”
While many applauded the display of support, some on social media expressed concern that the public same-sex kiss could put the fan in jeopardy under the laws of his country.
Are you not concerned about any danger you've put him in?! What about his family / friends / job? You've just got him to commit a crime on camera n then what?? Any support afterwards for any potential reprecussions or?
— robyn (@rrobynelizabeth) August 15, 2019
Earlier this month, Instinct reported a shared kiss between bandmates of the heavy metal group Rammstein during a concert in Russia. That kiss was seen as a protest of the anti-LGBTQ ‘propaganda’ laws there.