Jess Glynne issues apology after using transphobic slur during interview

During an interview with comedian Mo Gilligan, Jess Glynne used a transphobic slur while joking about taking a friend to a strip club run by trans people.

Jess Glynne on stage, holding a microphone, with purple lighting behind her
Image: Mattis Folkestad, NRK P3.

Singer Jess Glynne has issued an apology for using a transphobic slur in a recent interview. 

During a podcast interview with comedian Mo Gilligan, Glynne joked about taking a “bad man” friend to a strip club run by trans people. The singer used a transphobic slur while speaking about the venue. 

Glynne has faced widespread backlash from the LGBTQ+ community in response to the interview. Founder of Harpies Strip Club Lucia Blayke wrote on Twitter, “As the owner of a ‘t***y strip club’, I’d ask Jess Glynne not to use slurs to describe us or call us ‘men in wigs’. In fact, just leave us out of your funny anecdotes, we are not a laughing stock, we are human beings.”

In a separate Tweet, Blayke further highlighted the problematic nature of Glynne joking about a trans centred business, “Some people may think we’re overreacting but we get this bs all the time! Cis people coming into our spaces and laughing at us, taking pictures of us, giving us back handed compliments like, ‘Omg I’d have thought u was a girl if it wasn’t for your huge forehead’.”

Following the online backlash, Glynne shared an apology for her actions on social media, in which she shared trans led organisations to support. The singer wrote, “I want to address my appearance on the Mo Gilligan podcast, when a story I told caused massive and righteous offence. Firstly, I want to say that I am wholeheartedly sorry. I know that in this case, sorry is not nearly enough, throughout my life I have made a lot of mistakes and what I have come to know is that the only benefit to making one is to learn from it.”

Jess Glynne continued, “The language that I used on the podcast was unacceptable, as someone that has always been immersed in the LGBTQ+ community, I have witnessed first hand the progress that has been made when it comes to language, I am ashamed that I was unaware of the potency of the T-slur until now.”

“I have been fortunate enough and privileged enough to spend time today talking to the transgender model and activist Danielle St James, who has educated me about the power of that word and how it has been historically used as a weapon against so many,” Glynne went on to add. 

Organisers of London Trans Pride welcomed Glynne’s apology and thanked St James for making this “awful interaction turn into a positive learning experience.” They stated, “Jess Glynne, you still have work to do, but you are going in the right direction.”

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