Olly Alexander Protests Poland’s Anti-LGBTQ Policies With Rainbow Outfit

The Years & Years frontman is launching a new project celebrating queer voices.

Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander expressed his solidarity with Poland’s LGBTQ community last week during an appearance on The Voice of Poland.

The out singer rocked a rainbow-colored look while the London-based electro-pop trio performed their single “King” on the popular TV singing competition, silently protesting the Polish government’s homophobia, Notes from Poland reports.

While homosexuality is legal in Poland, anti-LGBTQ attitudes and violence are prevalent in the conservative and largely Catholic European nation, where same-sex marriage is still banned.

Polish website Queer.pl and local activists had reached out to Alexander following Polish politician Jacek Kurski’s comments that gay couples could not participate on one of the country’s TV dating shows.

“Poland’s government has become increasingly anti-LGBT and same sex couples are not allowed to be shown on the TV station,” Alexander later tweeted. “Poland has embraced our band from the very beginning and I know its people to be kind, funny and hugely generous.”

“Wearing rainbow colors is just a small statement but I’m very thankful to have been asked to do so. The government’s stance on LGBTQ+ equality does not reflect the pride and love we see at our shows there, nor is it reflected in the people we work with. We had a great week end, I love Poland and I will do my best to do right by you guys.”

Alexander memorably told the crowd to “literally shove a rainbow in fear’s face” at the 2016 Glastonbury Festival, urging fans to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community following Orlando’s Pulse nightclub shooting. “I’m here, I’m queer, and yeah, sometimes I am afraid, but I am never ashamed because I am proud of who I am!”

Years & Years recently announced “Rendezvous,” a new project celebrating LGBTQ voices and providing an inclusive safe space. This project, which will evolve into a festival, will be introduced December 5 during the band’s show at London’s O2 Arena.

“Listening to my LGBTQ+ peers has been my most powerful teacher, and I am lucky I’ve been able to meet so many like-minded people, but I know that isn’t always easy to find,” said Alexander in a statement. “My hope is that the launch of ‘Rendezvous’ will encourage people to make new connections, new ideas, make friends, be inspired and have a lot of fun!”

“We’ve played in countries where it’s not okay (or even legal) to be openly gay or queer and those crowds are some of the loudest, most ferociously joyous, we play to,” Alexander continues. “Not all of the audience is gay, but everybody—including us on stage—feel the power of coming together in mutual support and celebration. And dancing.”

Alexander has been vocal about his mental health issues, specifically depression and anxiety, which he believes stemmed in part from his struggle to accept his sexuality.

Palo Santo, Years & Years’ sophomore studio album, is out now.

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