Jedward urge influencers to stop ‘promoting’ Dubai and other countries that criminalise queer love

Jedward close up

Jedward have urged influencers to stop “promoting” Dubai and other countries where it’s illegal to be gay, proving once again that they are the ultimate allies.

The Irish twins, real names John and Edward Grimes, rose to fame on The X Factor in 2009, but they truly came into their own in 2020 as the social media heroes we all so desperately needed.

This year alone, they have spoken out against transphobia and racism, and even took the time to lambast James Corden for his “offensive” portrayal of a gay man in Netflix musical The Prom.

Now, they are begging influencers to show some respect for the LGBT+ community and refrain from promoting countries that persecute queer people.

“Info for influencers promoting Dubai!” Jedward wrote on Twitter on Sunday (20 December).

“It has coronavirus but doesn’t have rights for LGBTQ+ so please stop promoting countries where it’s criminal to kiss the one you love!”

Jedward were showered with praise from fans for taking a stand, with many thanking the twins for standing up for LGBT+ rights.

In Dubai, queer men convicted of having sex can face up to 10 years in prison under the country’s penal code.

The country is also a harsh and unwelcoming place for LGBT+ tourists. In 2008, a lesbian couple, visiting from abroad, were handed a one month jail sentence in Dubai for engaging in a public display of affection at a beach.

In the last decade alone, a number of people have been arrested and sentenced to prison in Dubai for having same-sex sexual relations.

In 2017, Scottish man Jamie Harron was sentenced to three months in prison for public indecency after he touched another man in a bar in an effort to avoid bumping into him. The charges were later dropped.

Jedward have become unlikely equality advocates.

Jedward, who went on to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest twice after their stint on The X Factor, have made headlines on numerous occasions in 2020 by championing human rights.

In June, they were spotted in Los Angeles at a Black Lives Matter protest where they hopped onto moving cars while brandishing anti-racism signs.

In September they clashed with Piers Morgan over author JK Rowling, and sent the trans community a touching message of support.

In December, they waded into the controversy surrounding James Corden after critics branded his role as gay character Barry Glickman in The Prom as “offensive”.

“Meryl Streep in The Prom deserves better than starring alongside James Corden who is offensively playing every gay stereotype!” Jedward wrote on Twitter, to a resounding chorus of agreement from queer fans.