Little Mix gave their fans a little shock at a recent performance in Dubai.
The all-girl group where on stage singing their track Secret Love Song on Saturday (23 March).
While performing, the group were surrounded by numerous screens displaying what was clearly an LGBTI Pride flag.
The group continued singing as the rainbow banners lit up the screens behind them.
Dubai has strict laws banning homosexuality and the promotion of LGBTI rights.
‘I’m so grateful’
A four-second clip the performance was posted Little Mix fan Twitter account, @LMGlobalNews.
At the time of publication, the tweet had over 20,000 ‘likes’.
— LM Global (@LMGlobaINews) March 23, 2019
Little Mix fans on Twitter reacted overwhelmingly positively to the band’s performance.
@LMGlobaINews thanked the band for ‘the love and support you’ve showed the LGBTQ+ community through the years’.
‘Little Mix really performed secret love song, the national lhbt+ anthem, with a huge pride flag behind them in Dubai’, wrote another Twitter user.
‘They really did : that and I’m so grateful.’
Another fan remarked that she had ‘never seen a huge rainbow flag BG in Dubai before, while an iconic LGBTQ anthem is being sung’.
Little Mix really performed secret love song, the national lhbt+ anthem, with a huge pride flag behind them in Dubai, where it’s strictly illegal to be LHBT+. They really did : that and I’m so grateful @LittleMix pic.twitter.com/CE0xPyXmAV
— sanne loves ashton (@womansworldafi) March 23, 2019
Little mix singing secret love song with a big rainbow flag on the big screen behind them in Dubai, where being gay is illegal screams the same energy as when Harry waved the rainbow flag in Singapore when he was told not to by securities. Both radiate big dick energy!!
— Nica👑 (@Harry_ThighKink) March 23, 2019
— Vilina (@VilCreates) March 23, 2019
Bans on homosexuality
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), of which Dubai is a member state, has strict laws banning homosexuality.
Those convived of sodomy in Dubai could face up to ten years in prison.
In October 2017, a One Direction fan spoke to Gay Star News about her fears of being arrested just for displaying a rainbow bracelet at a 1D concert in Dubai.
In the same month, a Scottish man was briefly jailed for accidentally touching a man’s hip while in a Dubai bar, though the case against him was later dismissed.
The United Arab Emirates also has a long history of censoring LGBTI content in the media.
Displaying the Pride flag in other Muslim-majority countries has been met with severe clampdowns by the authorities.
In October 2017, Egyptian police arrested over 30 people after concert goes waved rainbow flags at a performance by Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila.