Ariana Grande Addresses Claims Her Decision To Perform At Manchester Is To Exploit The LGBTQ Community

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Ariana Grande is not pleased with the accusations against her after announcing she will return to Manchester, England for its annual Pride festival.

According to E! News, Grande is set to return to Manchester for Manchester Pride two years after the May 2017 suicide bombing at her concert that left 22 people dead and even more severely injured. Shortly after announcing her plans to perform, people began to take issue with the price of the August 25 show. Twitter users also reportedly were upset by the fact that Grande, a straight woman, was asked to headline a festival that celebrates the LGBTQ community. With those two issues surrounding the “Thank U, Next” singer’s performance, the question of her using Pride as exploiting the LGBTQ community came into question.

Grande took to Twitter to defend herself after a tweet questioning her motives for the performance received more than 14,000 retweets and was brought to the singer’s attention.

“I have nothing to do with ticket pricing — manchester pride sets those rates, and they’re mostly out of my control,” she tweeted to her 61.1 million followers. “I just wanna put on a show that makes my LGBTQ fans feel special and celebrated,” she shares. “That’s all I wanna do.”

The “Breathin” singer also stated in her lengthy tweet that her intention isn’t to be a “hero of the community or the face of the LGBTQ movement,” and stated that she wouldn’t be the first straight entertainer to perform at pride events over the years and used Cher and Kylie Minogue as examples, who have both identified themselves as allies. She also said she only wants to celebrate with the LGBTQ community and the people of Manchester, which she has strong ties to.

Manchester Pride will be a stop on Grande’s “Sweetener/Thank U Next” tour, which will begin in March. While Grande has returned to the city of Manchester since the bombing, it has been reported that she will be taking precautions before she performs on stage this summer. She asked her fans on Tuesday to consider carrying clear, plastic bags for the items they bring to the show, which she will design and sell on her website.

“We’re sending out emails soon encouraging you to order a clear bag to bring your things into the venues as security is going to be very precise and smooth but for sure super strict,” Grande tweeted. “They’re super cheap and simple but having them ahead of time will for sure help things go as smooth as possible,” she added.

The “7 rings” singer also added that the bags will be optional for the attendees.