Beyoncé accused of LGBTIQ+ hypocrisy over Dubai performance


Beyonce Knowles (Pic: Featureflash Photo Agency)

Beyoncé has coined millions of dollars for a spectacular once-off performance in Dubai, but did she sell out her queer fans in the process?

The star was reportedly paid a whopping $24 million for the one-hour show to launch the new Atlantis the Royal resort on Saturday.

While cell phones were barred from the show, footage has leaked and been shared on social media. The no-expense-spared, over-the-top spectacle saw Beyoncé singing as she was lifted high above the stage amidst fountains and fireworks.

Her 17-song setlist included hits like Halo, Crazy in Love, Flaws and All, Drunk in Love and Be Alive and saw her perform with her 11-year-old daughter Blue Ivy.

It was her first full concert in four years and was sadly held in a country that allows for the death penalty for those convicted of engaging in consensual same-sex intimacy.

Her decision to perform in Dubai has come under fire from some who have questioned Beyoncé’s long-held status as an LGBTIQ+ ally.

The show also comes just seven months after releasing her acclaimed album Renaissance, a tribute to black and queer pioneers of ballroom and house and disco music. She also dedicated the album to her gay uncle Jonny.

Beyoncé reportedly did not include any songs from the album in the Dubai performance.

“When you’re that rich (est $500million) – largely, if not entirely, through the fierce loyalty of LGBTQ+ fans – what amount of money is simply too much to turn down to perform in a homophobic country?” asked a fan on Twitter.

Another commented: “Beyoncé doing a paid for press tour in Dubai doesn’t sit well with me especially with the influences for Renaissance being queer ballroom culture and it’s illegal and a death sentence to be gay in Dubai like ????”

One Twitter user wrote: “They’re all allies until there’s money involved. Honestly I look at someone like Mel C, who has a fraction of Beyoncé’s wealth, yet cancelled her shows in Poland due to their disgraceful LGBT rights record.”

British LGBTIQ+ rights activist Peter Tatchell agreed with these sentiments. “Ditching her own progressive values, she put a money-grabbing pay cheque before human rights. And sang no songs from Renaissance album, to appease anti-LGBT+ regime that has death penalty for gay sex?” he tweeted.

In 2019, Beyoncé was awarded the GLAAD Vanguard Award for promoting the acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people, stating at the event: “LGBTQI rights are human rights.”

Homosexuality is illegal in the United Arab Emirates, which includes the emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Fujairah and Sharjah. Possible punishment includes execution, imprisonment, fines, deportation, as well as hormone treatment and chemical castration.

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