Fans of Ariana Grande can attest to the fact that her concerts are sort of like one big love fest. But while Grande excels at spreading love through music inside various arenas around the world each night, that doesn't quite mean she's able to control the bigotry and hatred that goes on outside as excited concertgoers gear up for the concert event of their lives.
On Saturday (June 8), one fan of the "Thank U, Next" singer posted disturbing footage to their personal Twitter account, which featured an anti-gay protester holding up a rainbow sign outside the venue with the word "pride" crossed out. Inevitably, this protester's outright hatred caused some fans to fire back — especially since it's Pride Month — but they weren't the only ones completely turned off by the man's extremely homophobic words and actions.
Once Grande caught wind of the footage herself, she replied to the fan on Twitter and once again took a strong stance against attacks on the LGBTQ+ community. She also promised her fans that, in the future, she will do her absolute best to make sure hatred like this has no place at her concerts.
"man... saddened but not surprised by this one bit," she tweeted. "i'm so sorry any of my fans had to encounter this. we will do our best to ensure this doesn't happen again. proud of u all for not fighting / engaging violently. never worth it. wishing him peace & a healed heart cause girl yikes."
But Grande didn't stop there. The pop star wanted her fans to know that, even though this sort of hatred unfortunately does rear its ugly head all too often, there's still so much more love at her shows than there is hate. "he is highly outnumbered. you are all so celebrated and loved and safe," she added.
Before signing off for the night, Grande took one last hit at the protester, joking about how he probably memorized all the choreography to "Be Alright." "he was doing the be alright choreo in his garage later that night, i promise," she tweeted. And honestly, she’s probably right.
As Arianators around the world know, this certainly isn't the first time Grande has stood in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. For several years now, she's been speaking out about the importance of embracing the community and fighting for equality and pride, and she's also included these themes in several of her songs and music videos. (Have you seen the video for "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored?" It's pretty iconic.)
In 2015, Ariana addressed the LGBTQ+ fans at her Dallas concert, saying, "To my gay fans, I love you so much. And to my fans who are not out of the closet yet, to my babes who are shy about it: I love you, and you do not have to rush. You can take your time... And if anybody gives any of y'all shit about being who you are, I'll kick their ass."
Then, in 2018, Ari gave a huge shout-out in a letter she wrote for Billboard Pride. "I am eternally indebted to and inspired by the LGBTQ community," she wrote. "I hope to create anthems for you that wrap you up with comfort and make you get your best life for as long as I live. Thank you for celebrating me the way I celebrate you."
These days, Grande continues to be an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Earlier this year, she was confirmed to headline Manchester Pride, which is something she faced some backlash for due to a combination of her own personal sexual identity, as well as ticket prices. "I'm not claiming to be the hero of the community or the face of the LGBTQ rights movement — I just wanna put on a show that makes my LGBTQ fans feel special and celebrated and supported," she wrote.
This year's Manchester Pride Festival will take place from August 23–26.