ariana grande performing
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Ariana Grande is set to perform at Manchester Pride, but not everyone is excited about it. Grande has never identified as anything that fits under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. For all we know, she's very straight, and some people feel as though a person in the queer community should be headlining this kind of event. 

It doesn't help that the price for tickets jumped when she was announced as part of the lineup. Grande responded to the backlash on Twitter by saying that she has always supported the community, and she's "always proud to share the stage with LGBTQ artists."

Ariana Grande is headlining Manchester Pride, a couple short years following the bombing of one of her concerts there.

Grande is set to headline the 2019 Manchester Pride event that takes place from August 23–26. The event is made up of a few different events that occur over that weekend and raises money for LGBTQ+ causes in the area. Tickets are on sale now, and Grande is scheduled to perform on the 25th. 

Some LGBTQ+ people don't think Grande should be headlining the event because she's not openly queer.

Grande says she's excited to perform at the event, but not everyone is on board. Grande is, for all we know, a cisgender (meaning she agrees with the gender she was assigned with at birth), heterosexual woman. Queer people understandably want queer representation at queer events. But people are upset for more than just that. 

And the prices for the tickets reportedly more than doubled from last year's price as soon as Grande was announced for the event. 

There are different kinds of tickets and passes you can get for the event. These include tickets for single days and weekend passes. Ticket prices for the weekend passes are currently £74.50, which is more than double the price of last year, when the tickets were £28. To some, this looks like an exploitation of LGBTQ+ people for monetary gain.

Some fans are concerned that this pride event will be full of close-minded straight people thanks to Grande's presence.

LGBTQ+ fans feel like some straight people will attend this pride event purely because they want to see Grande and not to support the community. This tweet explains that exact problem. A girl from this person's school wants tickets to Manchester Pride just to see Grande. This person even goes on to say that the girl she's talking about doesn't support the LGBTQ+ community. Apparently "lesbians make her uncomfortable."

Grande took the time on Twitter to respond to the backlash. 

Grande saw that not everyone was so thrilled she would be headlining the event. She responded to someone's tweet with a response saying that while she understands people's concerns, she has always been a huge supporter of the community. She doesn't have control over the price of the event tickets, and other straight people have also headlined pride events. She just wants the chance to celebrate the community. Here's her response in full: 

"hi my love - i have nothing to do with the ticket pricing - manchester pride sets those rates, and they're mostly out of my control. the lgbtq community has been so special to me and supportive throughout my career. the relationships i have with my lgbtq fans, friends, and family make me so happy. i want to celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me. and also i wanna visit a city that means so much to me. lgbtq representation is incredibly important, and i'm always proud to share the stage with lgbtq artists! over the years, pride events have been headlined by performers and artists of all sexual orientations and genders, including straight allies like cher and kylie minogue. i do think there's room for us to talk about these issues without equating a performance *for* an lgbtq audience with exploitation of the lgbtq community. if you truly feel like i didn't deserve to be offered this spot, i respect that. but i did accept it excitedly and gratefully. 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. that's all i wanna do."

Grande is right about those ticket prices: They don't have much to do with her. But that doesn't make a change in ticket prices any less of an issue.

Considering the kind of financial discrimination the LGBTQ+ community goes through on both small and large scales, pride events would be free in a perfect world. However, big events cost a lot of money to produce, and in order to deal with those costs, selling tickets is a common practice. 

That justification doesn't make it fair to LGBTQ+ people who now can't afford a ticket. Some people feel Grande should help out with the production costs since the ticket prices reportedly skyrocketed the moment Grande's performance was announced. Some fans are asking her to refuse to perform until ticket prices are reduced. Others are saying she should help pay for some tickets herself.  

Still, many took Grande's response to heart and felt her choice to perform at the event is valid.

Some fans feel as though Grande's support for the community is genuine and that LGBTQ+ people shouldn't exclude straight allies. There are plenty of artists from the community who could have headlined the event, but Grande is a big name who will bring in a lot of people (and money) to an event that celebrates this community. Many LGBTQ+ people are defending her performance; they just don't want the event overrun by straight people. And the change in ticket price is upsetting to almost everyone on Twitter. 

Luckily, a slew of other artists performing at the event are part of the LGBTQ+ community.

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Lady Bug ????

A post shared by Lady Leshurr (@imladyleshurr) on

Lady Leshurr is a rapper from the UK who recently came out as pansexual. She says fellow LGBTQ+ artist Kehlani told her about the term. The two of them were talking on Twitter last year when Leshurr said she "realized gender has nothing to do with" her attraction to other people. "It’s more about the connection, the energy, and the vibe that people bring around me — that’s what really draws me in," she said.

To give credit where it's due, Grande has been an ally to LGBTQ+ people in the past.

And no, I'm not just saying that because her brother is gay. She's been open about her support for the LGBTQ+ community for years. She performed at NYC Pride in 2015, and last year she wrote a "love letter" to the community for Billboard. In the letter, she discussed how "queens" in the gay bars of New York City taught her to do her makeup and wrote that acceptance of her music in the LGBTQ+ community was one of her early career goals. 

Her performance at this particular event might not be her best act of alliance, though. But it's happening whether Twitter likes it or not.

The fact of the matter is that Grande has a lot of money because she's had a lot of success. She could be donating directly to LGBTQ+ organizations instead of performing. However, we don't know for a fact that she's not already doing that. Nevertheless, she is headlining Coachella this year as well, and the co-owner of that event has supported anti-LGBTQ+ groups. 

Nobody's perfect, we guess?