Fans at a Troye Sivan concert ‘are pissed off’ after security stopped them from displaying Pride flags during the performance. Security allegedly stopped people waving the flag as Sivan told the crowd about his coming out experience in Singapore on Friday (3 May).
Prominent LGBTI rights activist, Benjamin Xue, attended the concert of the gay Australian singer at The Star Vista venue with five friends.
He told Gay Star News that a security guard told them to put away their Pride flag. Xue said security also told a group of girls behind them to stop waving the Pride flag.
‘We were told not wave the flag and keep it low. People with other pride flags were also told not to wave it,’ Xue said.
‘We brought it as we wanted to enjoy the concert… we waved the flag as we wanted to support Troye.’
Sivan is an outspoken LGBTI activist who shone the lights in colors of the rainbow flag during the concert. He also waved a physical Pride flag towards the end of the show.
The girls sitting behind Xue told GSN the security guard claimed they confiscated the flags because they would block other people’s views.
‘We purposefully made it low so we wouldn’t block anyone’s view,’ one girl who asked not to be name said.
‘It’s really upsetting… we literally came to a concert for a gay dude, why can’t we wave the flag?’
Fans reportedly had to line up for an extended time after the show to collect their confiscated Pride paraphernalia.
‘Before the show, security was confiscating anything that had a Pride flag on it,’ Xue said.
‘People are really pissed off because they have to wait in really long lines to get their things.’
One witness said security questioned her before entering if she had a rainbow flag on her.
‘There were no signs saying we couldn’t bring a rainbow flag and I was surprised he specifically asked if I had a rainbow flag,’ she said.
‘I was concerned because I saw rainbow items on the table and I really want to know if they didn’t want us to not bring why not put a sign saying that outside, not tell us as we’re coming in.’
‘Don’t fuck with that shit.’
Pride in music
Same-sex relations are outlawed in Singapore under section 377A of the Penal Code. LGBTI issues are very taboo in the city state which does not have anti-discrimination protections for LGBTI people.
Last year the government banned non-citizens or permanent residents from attending the annual Pink Dot Pride event. It also banned foreign companies from financially supporting the event. But local businesses then stepped up to donate millions of Singapore dollars to keep the event afloat.
Friday’s incident was not the first example of LGBTI fans being censored at concerts.
‘I want to create a really safe environment for us all to have fun,’ Dua Lipa told the crowd at the time.
But a display of Pride at a concert in Egypt triggered a crackdown on LGBTI people. Police arrested about 60 people in the days after a concert by Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila in Cairo.
The charges varied, including ‘debauchery’, ‘inciting sexual deviancy’ and ‘joining an outlawed group’.
‘We cannot begin to explain how saddened we are to see yet another era of backwards tyranny creep over one of our most beloved countries and audiences,’ the band said in a statement.
‘This crackdown is by no means separable from the suffocating atmosphere of fear and abuse experienced by all Egyptians on a daily basis, regardless of their sexual orientations.’
Gay Star News has reached out to The Star Vista and Troye Sivan for comment.