Matt Healy kisses fan during The 1975 gig in protest of Dubai's anti-gay laws

Amy West
The 1975 frontman Matt Healy kisses fan in anti-gay law protest during Dubai gig (Roberto Finizio/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The 1975 frontman Matt Healy challenged Dubai’s anti-LGBTQ laws by kissing a male audience member during a gig in the city’s Coca-Cola Arena on Wednesday 15 August.

During the indie-pop band’s live rendition of ‘Loving Someone’, the 30-year-old yelled, “If you're gay, I love you and God freaking loves you.”

Later, he walked across the rainbow-backdropped stage, picked a fan from the crowd and smooched him.

Afterwards, he said: "I love you bro. We're all human, right?"

Read more: Matt Healy apologises for comments about misogyny

Following the performance, Healy thanked Dubai for the “amazing time” on Twitter noting that he didn’t think the group will be allowed back in the future due to his “behaviour.”

He continued: “Know that I love you and I wouldn’t have done anything differently given the chance again. But who knows maybe they will let me back in let’s just wait and see :)”

Many praised Healy’s actions on social media, with one fan admitting on Twitter that he “inspired [him] to come out to his mum” that same day.

“What Matt Healy did in Dubai makes me so happy and emotional. No one is willing to talk about the injustices that are happening to lgbt people in the Middle East. Everyone is too scared to, but there can’t be a change if no one is willing to do that... and he did that.”

BENICASSIM, SPAIN - JULY 19: Matthew Healy of the band The 1975 performs in concert during the Festival Internacional de Benicassim on July 19, 2019 in Benicassim, Spain. (Photo by Xavi Torrent/Redferns)

Others criticised him for potentially putting the man he shared the embrace with at risk, highlighting the fact that homosexuality is illegal in the United Arab Emirates and that punishments can range from fines and prison sentences, to deportation and even death.

“Matt Healy has no braincells,” one Twitter user wrote. “He’s put that boy in so much danger. Homosexuality in Dubai is illegal and, in extreme cases, punishable by death. I can’t believe he has stans worried for him when he’s caused police to go searching for that boy.”

Another added: “As much as I love The 1975, Matt Healy kissing that boy in Dubai, literally putting him in a life threatening situation, to make a statement, is peak white ppl activism lmao.”

Read more: Denise Welch checks on son Matt Healy through his security

This isn’t the first time Healy has publicly shown his support for the queer community. Back in 2018, he helped to finance a new LGBTQ community centre in London.

"You might wonder why it is needed, and even ask yourself what exactly is everyone still scared of,” the Robbers singer told The Observer at the time. “But sadly, I think stigma still exists even in London and we still have some way to go."

LGBT rights are heavily suppressed in the emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Fujairah and Sharjah, which together form the United Arab Emirates. All sexual relations outside a heterosexual marriage is considered a crime.