QUEER VOICES
03/28/2018 04:32 pm ET

Imagine Dragons Singer Makes Plea For LGBTQ Equality In Brazil

Dan Reynolds' rainbow flag spoke loudly in a country where queer people still face much discrimination.

The lead singer of Imagine Dragons made a very visible plea for LGBTQ equality this weekend when he waved a rainbow flag during a concert in Brazil

Dan Reynolds offered the inclusive gesture as he and his bandmates were performing at the Lollapalooza Brazil festival in São Paulo on Saturday. At one point during the performance, he draped the flag across his bare chest.  

Images of Reynolds’ pro-LGBTQ statement were captured for posterity on social media.  

On Tuesday, Reynolds shared a photo of himself holding the flag on Twitter, along with a poignant message asking fans to “fully embrace and support” LGBTQ people. 

Reynolds’ decision to speak out in defense of LGBTQ rights in Brazil was fitting. While São Paulo boasts what is believed to be the world’s largest annual Pride celebration and same-sex marriage is legal in Brazil, queer people still face widespread discrimination across the nation.

In January, local advocates Grupo Gay de Bahia published new research finding that at least 445 Brazilians died as victims of anti-LGBTQ crimes in 2017, a 30 percent increase over the previous year. 

Reynolds, who identifies as straight, has emerged as an outspoken advocate of LGBTQ rights in recent years. Last year, the co-writer of some of Imagine Dragons’ biggest hits, including “Radioactive” and “Demons,” was honored with the Trevor Project’s Hero Award for his advocacy work on behalf of the queer community. 

The 30-year-old Las Vegas native is profiled in a forthcoming HBO documentary, “Believer,” which explores his efforts to reconcile his support of LGBTQ causes with his Mormon upbringing. 

“Even though my faith isn’t always the strongest and my beliefs are more of my own, the world typically thinks of me as a Mormon, so I feel like I’m an activist for bigotry in some way,” he told Billboard in 2017. “One of those ways is that Mormons believe the doctrine is if you are gay and acting upon it, that is sinful. That is a very dangerous and hurtful and hateful thing to preach and to teach our children.”

He continued, “To be gay is beautiful and right and perfect; to tell someone they need to change their inner-most being is setting up someone for an unhealthy life and unhealthy foundation.”

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