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Liam Payne and the LGBTQ Community

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Article by: C.C. Art by: goshts

Liam and the LGBTQIA+ community have been and continues to be a controversial topic as there is a large perception by the general public and even within the fandom that Liam does not support this community. This perception is untrue and unfortunately perpetuates a very negative image of Liam even to this day. This article is to show how untrue that perception of Liam is, and, in honour of April’s issue being about Ziam, to highlight some of the amazing things Liam has done to represent and support the LGBTQIA+ community. Remember that Liam himself is a member of the community as well.

There are numerous receipts on social media of fan interactions with Liam going back to 1D days. There are fan interactions where Liam has acknowledged LGBTQIA+ fans proudly displaying signs, pointed out pride flags, pointed out signs for Rainbow Direction, and various personal interactions fans have had with Liam having a positive response from Liam to just to name a few examples. 

Taking you back to 2011,  Liam also famously tweeted ‘Love our gay fans’ after watching a video of their performance at G-A-Y. 

In June 2015 at One Direction’s performance in Helsinki, Finland, Liam requested the crowd to raise their colourful things they were wearing or holding nice and proud so he could take some photos. This coincidently happened on the day of the pride parade in Helsinki. These are just a few examples of positive fan interactions Liam has had with LGBTQIA+ fans that made them feel welcomed and supported.

Perhaps the most famous show of support Liam has shown the LGBTQIA+ community is his cover issue of Attitude magazine in October 2015. Attitude magazine is the best-selling gay magazine in the UK and Europe and the world’s biggest LGBTQ brand (2022, Attitude).

For the October 2015 issue Liam graced the cover (image below) as well as did an interview with the magazine. In the interview he addresses some of the controversial people have said about him. He also discusses how he himself has many friends that are gay and for him, it’s not a big deal, he doesn’t see his friends by their sexuality, they are just his mates (Caulfield, K. (2023, February 7)).

Liam is long time close friends with Landon Ross who made his relationship public in 2021 with his long-term boyfriend, Julian Morris. The two have been together for more than two decades, and Liam has known both of them for a very long time. He also attended the event the two of them put on for Rainbow Railroad in 2022, an organisation that helps LGBTQIA+ people escape violence or oppression (Rainbow Railroad, 2024).

On June 13, 2016, after the shooting that occurred at a gay nightclub Orlando, Florida, Liam posted to his Instagram in support of the people affected with a rainbow flag stating his thoughts and prayers go out to Orlando and the people of the LGBT community (using the acronym Liam used in his post).

On May 17, 2017, Liam posted the below to his Instagram supporting International Day Against Homophobia, a photo of him standing against a coloured wall and captioning the post with blue, yellow, green, purple and red hearts.

In July 2017, just after former US president Donald Trump had reinstated the ban for anyone identifying as transgender would not be allowed to serve in the US military, Liam made another post in support of the LGBTQIA+ community. He posted to his Instagram a quote from the United States Declaration of Independence “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” A statement clearing showing his support for any person to be treated equally.

In addition, he also responded to a comment which questioned why he was posting about the issue when he didn’t even live in the US, which he responded to stating that it’s about supporting a community that deserves the right to live the dream of serving their country if that’s what they desire (Draper, 2017). This is just another clear indication of showing support for the community.

In July 2018, Liam took part in the Adidas Prouder campaign in collaboration with the Albert Kennedy Trust and Adidas, which was aimed to support LGBTQIA+ youth experiencing homelessness. In the campaign, all of the celebrities designed a shoe with Adidas which were bid on and the money went to support the cause. One of his tweets during the campaign read ‘Encouraging people to feel a part of the communities bigger than just themselves. Everybody deserves to have pride in who they are and what they do, at all times!’ (Payne, 2018).

On October 1, 2018 Billboard posted a video to their Twitter account which included several celebrities including Liam. In the video the celebrities are speaking out about preventing bullying, and specifically mention LGBTQIA+ discrimination.

In June 2020, Liam posted to his Instagram wishing everyone a Happy Pride on official Pride Day. He also shared a story via his Instagram in support of Spirit Day organised by GLAAD. GLAAD is a non-profit organisation focused on LGBTQ advocacy and cultural change. GLAAD works to ensure fair, accurate, and inclusive representation and creates national and local programs that advance LGBTQ acceptance (2023, GLAAD).

In 2021, Liam also added pronouns to his official Discord server so that users could put their preferred pronouns next to their names, to make the environment more inclusive and welcoming.

There have also been many recorded instances of Liam signalling himself as part of the community including using the colours from the bi-sexuality flag, use of triangles, and his long history of admitting to having crushes on and flirting with men. I won’t go into a deep dive on Liam’s queer coding here as this article is focused on his supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. However, all of Liam’s signalling does reflect a level of support and pride that Liam has for the community.

In summary, there is a long-documented history of Liam supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, and although I would never speak for someone else I have witnessed many instances on social media of members of the LGBTQIA+ speaking out or drawing attention to things Liam has done that has made them feel accepted, welcomed and seen. I sincerely hope by the end of this article it is clear all the way that Liam has supported the LGBTQIA+ community. Liam Payne is a kind-hearted and caring person; he has nothing but the utmost respect and love for everyone.

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