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INTERVIEW: Mel B – ‘It wasn’t experimentation, I fell in love with a woman for five years’

INTERVIEW: Mel B – ‘It wasn’t experimentation, I fell in love with a woman for five years’

'The LGBT community are the Spice Girls' ultimate supporters' says Mel

She’s always been known for speaking her mind – so Scary Spice Mel B is an inspired choice of host for the RBS British LGBT Awards.

Here, in a gay press exclusive interview, the America’s Got Talent judge talks to Gay Star News about how she defines her sexuality, the advice she’d give to a closeted star and which Spice Girl might be popping along to tonight’s ceremony in London…

Hi Mel! How did you feel when you were asked to host the RBS British LGBT Awards?
Very honored and flattered. I jumped at the chance – I flew in especially. From the very beginning the LGBT community have been the Spice Girls’ ultimate supporters. So for me it’s nice to give up my time to host these awards for them. This is their time to shine, be appreciated and supported.

Who are you bringing as your date?
My husband’s going to be with me, and I think Emma [Bunton] might pop in. Geri’s in Barcelona, Mel C’s in LA and Victoria’s in LA. But me for sure, and maybe Emma!

4/5. And she wasn’t scary at all @officialmelb #spicegirls #melb #london #RBSBritishLGBTAwards #LGBT #LGBTI

A photo posted by Jamie Tabberer (@jamietabberer) on

You’re presenting with Blue’s Duncan James, an old friend of Geri’s. He once referred to her as ‘a good beard’…
Geri’s everyone’s beard. Ask her, maybe she was!

Hosting the awards is a great example to set your kids. Would you be cool with it if any of them grew up to be LGBTI?
Yeah. Between me and my husband we have four girls. What’s the ratio, one in five? So I’m hoping probably one of them will be! It’s not something I’d push, but it’s not something I’d push under the carpet. Whatever my kids want to be, I would celebrate. Whether they were gay, bisexual, transgender, I wouldn’t care. I would love and support them as my daughters.

Is it quite an open conversation at home then?
Yeah, of course. Most definitely.

It’s quite fitting that you have a family of all girls…
[Laughs] From all different fathers!

No! Because you’re a champion of girl power.
It’s just what I was given and I’m happy with that. My kids are healthy, smart, got their feet on the ground.

Happy Mothersday #mybabies #nofilter

A photo posted by Mel B (@officialmelb) on

How do you define your sexuality, if at all?
I’m a married woman who’s in love with a man.

But you’ve been pretty straightforward about your sexual experimentation in the past…
It wasn’t experimentation. I fell in love with a woman for five years. An experiment doesn’t last five years.

Did you ever experience any homophobia, being so open about it?
If I did, I didn’t let it register. Because that would have been someone else’s problem, not my problem. I was happy.

How come you’re so fearless about it?
I don’t see any fear. Why would I have fear? I’m not a fearful person. As soon as I left home, I lived my life fully. As long as I’m not being mean to anyone in my immediate circle or harming anyone, people out there can have judgement, it doesn’t affect me. I’ve always been an independent person. ‘Fearless’ puts somebody in a box. I’m just me.

I’m a hard worker, I got brought up on a council estate, my mum and dad took on god knows how many jobs to support me and my sister. I was brought up with certain morals and respectability. You work to earn your own money. Just because you’re a woman, you’re not seen as any lesser in life – out there, women’s payroll is lower than guys, but in my world I will always strive to be equal, equal to everyone else out there. That’s not fearless, that’s just common sense to me.

What would your advice be to a closeted star coming up in the industry?
I don’t like to give advice to anyone unless you’re my child. Everybody deals with pressure and a situation like coming out in different ways. I’d just let them know they had support and someone to talk to.

Have you ever been the confidant of a closeted star?
Yeah, I have. I was a friend to that person. A friend listens and supports. There have been situations where contestants have come out, or had stories about being bullied at school for being gay – I’ve come across a lot of those stories on America’s Got Talent and the X Factor in the UK and Australia. All you can do is give them a hug and a round of applause and say ‘well done for being courageous’.

Now we have gay marriage in the US and England, what is the next step for global LGBTI rights?
I always celebrate when a country opens its doors to gay marriage. The more places that say ‘yes, we want that to happen here too’, the better. It’s great news that Italy is introducing same-sex civil unions.

And I say oohhhh LALA

A photo posted by Mel B (@officialmelb) on

There are reports of new music from the Spice Girls. Can you shed any light on that?
There’s nothing I can say [until] there’s something to say. I arrived in London on Tuesday and me, Geri and Emma have been hanging out as our schedules permitted to spend a bit of time together. It’s been lovely. I’m not going to tell you what we did together, but we had a nice time!

Would you agree that Mel C always had the biggest lesbian fan base back in the day?
I think every lesbian, or every whoever, had their favorite, whoever they fancied at that time!

Which Spice Girl do you think is the hottest?
It depends which one’s got make up on! I’m kidding. They’re all hot in different ways. We’ve all aged appropriately, in different ways. Just look at our Instagrams. We’re all the same people!

For more information about the RBS British LGBT Awards, click here.