Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds demonstrated his LGBTQ+ allyship once again by launching the fifth annual LOVELOUD music festival on Tuesday, October 17. The opening night in Washington, DC, features performances from Reynolds himself, as well as Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees, Lindsey Stirling, Victoria Monét, David Archuleta, Allison Russell and more.
Historically held in Utah, this year, the festival will also go back to its roots in Salt Lake City on November 3 and travel to Austin, Texas on November 10. Reynolds and Glenn are on the lineup for all dates and will be joined by Lauv, Mother Mother, Tegan and Sara, Cavetown, Chelsea Cutler, Vincint and others for next month’s shows.
In 2017, Reynolds debuted the LOVELOUD festival in Salt Lake City, Utah. The family-friendly fundraiser supports at-risk LGBTQ+ youth and raises money for queer organisations like The Trevor Project and Encircle.
In the past, the event has been described as a bridge for families who may be nervous about attending a Pride event but want to support the queer young people in their lives. For many members of the conservative community in Salt Lake City, LOVELOUD is their first time being surrounded by LGBTQ+ folk.
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Dan Reynolds has long established himself as an LGBTQ+ ally. In recent times, the 36-year-old father of four has become one of the most outspoken and recognisable straight allies in the music industry.
He grew up in the Mormon church, even serving as a missionary before becoming a singer with Imagine Dragons.
The Morman church claims it doesn’t prohibit same-sex attraction, but its members are forbidden to act upon their feelings or engage in same-sex relationships. Reynolds has spoken out against this stance many times. In his HBO documentary, Believer, he talks with LGBTQ+ youth about their experience with the Morman church and its impact on queer mental health.
In 2017, Reynolds was awarded The Trevor Project’s annual Hero Award. During his acceptance speech, he took responsibility for his past actions as a missionary when he told people that being gay is a sin, saying: “I wish I could re-knock all of those doors and tell them that I was wrong.”
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Throughout his career, Reynolds has gone above and beyond expectations to show what it means to be an ally.
He regularly uses his platform to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, even when it means losing fans or alienating himself from his faith background. He even donated his childhood home worth $1 million to a charity that will use it as a centre for LGBTQ+ youth.
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