Mel C praised by LGBTQ+ fans after axing New Year gig in Poland: ‘A lesson in being an ally’
Spice Girls’ Mel C has been hailed a “hero” after pulling out of a New Year’s Eve gig in Poland, seemingly due the current government’s horrendous track record on LGBTQ+ rights.
The singer shared a statement on Twitter to explain why she would no longer be performing.
“In light of some issues that have been brought to my attention, that do not align with the communities i support, I’m afraid I will no longer be able to perform in Poland as planned on New Year’s Eve,” she wrote.
“I hope to be back there very soon.”
Mel C has been a fierce queer ally throughout her career, and Poland has an increasingly poor track record when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights.
What is Poland’s stance on LGBTQ+ rights?
Poland has consistently failed LGBTQ+ communities in recent years.
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In January 2022, the lower house of the Polish Parliament, the Sejm, passed education reforms effectively ending LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum.
This was compounded by a further vote in February with the hopes of “punishing” LGBTQ+ youth and allies.
Poland is also one of six EU countries that does not allow same-sex marriage or civil unions and despite agreeing to recognise foreign same-sex marriage in November, continues to trail behind.
Several key politicians have also parroted homophobic rhetoric on a national stage, including the current Polish president Andrzej Duda.
During his successful re-election campaign in 2020 Duda said his parents had fought against communism but “they didn’t fight for this so that a new ideology [LGBTQ+ rights] would appear that is even more destructive”.
How have people reacted to Mel C’s decision?
As a former Spice Girl, Mel C has a huge queer following and has been praised by LGBTQ+ people and allies for showing up for the community.
“It’s so important we all stand up for social justice — especially those on the public stage. Thank you Mel C for being one of the good guys and role modelling what it means to have values,” another person reflected.
Mel C has been a regular advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, and previously spoke fondly of her time touring with the drag troupe Sink the Pink.
“Being an ally to the LGBT+ community is important and rewarding. Being accepted into their world, I learned so much about their struggle,
“And I just admire that courage to be who you truly are – which was always the message of the Spice Girls,” she told NME.
She has also spoken out against transphobia in the UK, saying: “We have to move on. Things change.
“Thank goodness people are able to be who they truly feel they are rather than living miserable lives or secret lives.
“It’s something that has to be acknowledged and addressed.”
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