Known for her visceral and stunning shows of emotion, Adele is no stranger to expressing exactly how she feels at any one moment, and her response to the heartbreaking and tragic events in Orlando, Florida, this Sunday are just as heartfelt as you might expect.
Taking to the stage in Belgium on Sunday night, Adele fought back tears as she dedicated the entire show to the victims of the LGBTQ-targeted attack, saying, “I would like to start tonight by dedicating this entire show to everybody in Orlando and at Pulse nightclub last night… The LGBTQ community, they’re like my soul mates since I was really young, so I’m very moved by it.”Adele’s words hardly come as a surprise since she has also always been an outspoken supporter of gay rights and equality since her early days as a singer. Her support for the LGBTQ community can be heard in her music, her stage shows, her interviews and even in the way with which she conducts herself and preaches self-acceptance.
While performing to a London crowd back in 2011, Adele divulged the information that “Set Fire to the Rain” was written in response to her best friend criticizing “Chasing Pavements” for not being enough of a gay anthem. As a result, the song manages to lyrically translate the universal complexities of love, heartbreak and pain in a manner that highlights their universalism. Love, heartbreak and pain, after all, have no gender or sexuality.
In May of this year, a visibly excited Adele was jumping up and down with joy at a concert in Denmark when she invited two male fans up onstage with her. What she wasn’t expecting was for one of them to get down on one knee and propose to the other (he said yes!), at which point Adele threw her arms around the newly engaged couple and jokingly asked whether she could help them have children together. “Should I be your surrogate if you have children?”
In an interview with Time magazine, Adele dropped the most Adele-esque casual reference of support toward the LGBT community while speaking about her son. Beaming with pride at the person her son was becoming and speaking with excitement about who he might grow up to become, she commented, “I can’t wait to know who his best friends are going to be, who his girlfriend or his boyfriend is going to be or what movies he likes… Whatever my kid wants to do or be I will always support him no matter what.” And shouldn’t it always be as simple as that?
One of the reasons why Adele is so widely loved is that she appears to be so authentic and real. She is unapologetically always herself, and that kind of a persona is deeply empowering for those trying to find the strength to unapologetically be themselves, too.
In an interview with Out Magazine, Adele explained how encouraging it is to receive positive messages from fans who had translated her persona for their own self-acceptance, stating, “I get a lot of mail from people who tell me that I make them really happy to be themselves, and really comfortable with who they are, which I love.”
The real gem of the story, though, is when she starts talking about a 15-year old fan who approached her at a gig just a few nights previously to thank her for helping to give him the strength to come out. “He fancied someone at school, but he wasn’t out. And he listened to ‘Someone Like You’ and came out to his best friend and then to the boy he fancied, and it turned out that he was gay as well, and now they’re together — he’s like 15. I had to leave so I didn’t burst into tears.” The power of Adele is very real, you guys. Believe!
As anyone who has ever been involved with the organization of a Pride festival will know, sometimes, big artists can still demand a pretty big fee despite the event being a charity. Back in 2011, however, Adele played the London Pride festival for free — not only meaning that more money could go straight into the hands of the LGBTQ charity, but also that it was more accessible to people in the community who perhaps couldn’t have been able to afford the ticket price.