Jess Glynne claims ignorance in grovelling apology for using transphobic slur

Jess Glynne wearing a black and white dress

Jess Glynne has apologised for using a transphobic slur in a wildly offensive anecdote about a trans strip club.

The singer was widely condemned for speaking the word “tranny” and using a trans strip club as the punchline in an anti-queer anecdote.

Appearing on The Mo Gilligan Podcast, Jess Glynne laughed as she recalled taking a “bad man” friend to a “tranny strip club”, revelling in his apparent discomfort.

In an Instagram statement, Glynne acknowledged that the transphobic language she used was “unacceptable” and claimed she was “unaware of the potency of the T slur until now” – a claim questioned by many.

“A story I told caused massive and righteous offence,” she wrote Monday (8 March).

“Firstly, I want to say that I am wholeheartedly sorry. I know that in this case, sorry is not nearly enough, throughout my life I have made a lot of mistakes and what I have come to know is that the only benefit to making one is to learn from it.”

Jess Glynne vow to educate herself after transphobic slur

Jess Glynne insisted she “didn’t want to simply put out a PR apology on social media because I know that I have caused offence and pain to a community that I love and have always wanted to support”.

“To be in the knowledge that I have negatively impacted the community through my own ignorance has ripped out a piece of my heart,” she continued, saying that she needs to “address my mistake head on and educate myself about an issue I was frankly ignorant of”.

“The language that I used on the [The Mo Gilligan Podcast] was unacceptable, as someone that has always been immersed in the LGBT+ community, I have witnessed first-hand the progress that has been made when it comes to language.”

Glynne credited trans model and activist Dani St James, who she said had taken time that day to “educate me about the power of that word and how it has been historically used as a weapon against so many”.

“It is often the last word someone hears before they are brutally attacked or even murdered,” she added.

She continued by highlighting trans-affirming organisations Not a Phase, London Trans Pride, Mermaids, Gendered Intelligence, Five for Five, akt, the Black Trans Foundation and TransActual UK.

“I do believe personal development never ends but we have to make a commitment to change and I will be taking some time to continue to grow,” she added, vowing to lend her platform to “voices of the community” in weeks to come.


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A post shared by Jess Glynne (@jessglynne)

Earlier, Glynne had been criticised by members of the trans community.

Lucia Blayke, founder of London Trans+ Pride and the Harpies strip club, led the rejection of Glynne’s hurtful words, writing: “As the owner of a ‘tranny strip club’, I’d ask Jess Glynne to not use slurs to describe us or call us ‘men in wigs’.

“In fact, just leave us out of your funny anecdotes, we are not a laughing stock, we are human beings.”

Four in five trans people experienced a hate crime in 2020, according to research by the LGBT+ anti-violence charity Galop.

Mo Gilligan has not responded publicly and has not responded to a request for comment.