Melanie C says Spice Girls stood for ‘Gay Power,’ not just ‘Girl Power’

Melanie C performs during the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards 2022.

Spice Girls’ very own Melanie C has said the girl group stood for ‘Gay Power’ as much as they did ‘Girl Power.’

Melanie Chisholm, better known as Sporty Spice, made the claim during a speech at this year’s Attitude Awards, where she won an honorary gay award on Wednesday (12 October).

She spoke about various aspects of the girl group and its relation to the LGBTQ+ community, including rumours of her own sexuality.

The singer faced several years of speculation on her sexuality across her storied career, telling Closer magazine in 2021 that she “never gave much thought” to her sexuality.

“I had zero problem with people thinking I was gay,” she said while accepting her award. “If I was gay, so what? It’s not a bad thing, it’s a brilliant thing.”

Melanie C accepted the honorary award from broadcaster Rylan – who paid tribute to the Spice Girls in an earlier speech – and commended the LGBTQ+ community for its resilience in the face of adversity.

“The Spice Girls were about embracing individuality,” the singer-songwriter said. “Everybody was invited into our gang. It wasn’t just Girl Power, it was Gay Power.”

Additionally, the star spoke about opposing Qatar hosting the World Cup, talking about its shocking homophobic laws in which LGBTQ+ people can be put to death under Sharia Law, and its human rights record.

Football governing body FIFA chose Qatar as the 2022 World Cup host in 2010, receiving a years-long backlash for selecting a country that puts LGBTQ+ people to death.

In an interview with Attitude, Melanie C said: “It’s greed, isn’t it?

“They can try and spin it that they’re there to make a change, that sport can make a change. But it’s bulls**t, it’s about money,” she added. “Obviously, I’m a huge England supporter, whatever the gender. But it’s hard to get fully behind it when you know where the money’s coming from.”

Melanie C has advocated for LGBTQ+ rights in the past

The star has been an outspoken ally for the LGBTQ+ community, having openly supported trans inclusivity and calling for institutions and governments to address LGBTQ+ inequality.

She has even taken the time to debunk a claim made by the group decades ago that the notoriously anti-LGBTQ+ former prime minister Margaret Thatcher had Girl Power.

In a 1996 interview with The Spectator, band member Geri Halliwell claimed that the Spice Girls were “true Thatcherites” and said that Thatcher was “the first Spice Girl.”

This was especially unsettling for LGBTQ+ fans of the group since Thatcher’s time as prime minister is largely seen as one of the bleakest eras for LGBTQ+ rights in the UK.

Additionally, the interview saw Victoria Beckham express her views on Euroscepticism, saying that the “Euro-bureaucrats are destroying every bit of national identity.”

After being routinely dubbed a “raging tory” in the aftermath of the interview, Melanie C set the record straight on 16 September to The Independent where she said that Thatcher was “absolutely not” the “first Spice Girl.”

“Geri, in the past, was very vocal about her support for Margaret Thatcher. I’m from Liverpool. It was a name that was not celebrated in that region,” she said.

“They were never the thoughts or feelings that I shared. People knowing me, from the things I do, are quite aware of what kind of person I am. I don’t think people think I’m a raging Tory!”