Rapper Iggy Azalea stops own set for heartfelt speech on trans equality

Rapper Iggy Azalea stops own set for heartfelt speech on trans equality

Rapper Iggy Azalea. | Photo: Daniel Gregory / Flickr

Australian rapper Iggy Azalea (real name Amethyst Amelia Kelly) stopped her set to talk about transgender equality.

She performed a short set at Chicago’s Pride in the Park at Butler Field last night (29 June).

‘I really want to say something important,’ she said during the performance. ‘Because we’re all here for a reason, right?’

She then added: ‘I don’t want us to forget the meaning of Pride or why we came here. To a lot of people, you guys are still invisible and you have to fight every day just to be who you are.

‘That’s why we’ve gotta be here tonight because we gotta be loud as fuck!’

Rapper Iggy Azalea

Rapper Iggy Azalea. | Photo: Ralph Arvesen / Flickr

Azalea then started talking about a very special fan of hers from Chicago, named Michelle.

‘She inspires me the fuck out of me,’ the 29-year-old rapper revealed. ‘She is a trans woman of color and I see the struggle she goes through every day just to be herself.’

Azalea then added: ‘I want to read statistics… about trans people that a lot of people need to hear.

‘50% of trans people have been raped or sexually assaulted. 41% of trans people have attempted suicide. 80% of trans students feel unsafe at school.

‘And my friend Michelle has a life expectancy – as a trans woman of color – of 35 years old,’ she said.

Azalea also revealed 11 trans women of color have died this year and ‘this shit has got to change’. She dedicated one of her songs to Michelle and then dragged her on stage for a sweet hug.

Iggy Azalea embraces LGBTI community

Earlier this year, Iggy Azalea released the music video for her song Sally Walker.

The video featured Drag Race queens such as Vanessa ‘Vanjie’ Mateo, Mayhem Miller and Shea Couleé, as well as makeup artist James Charles.

She also enlisted Miss Vanjie during her Jimmy Kimmel performance in April.

But she hasn’t always been a strong ally for the LGBTI community.

Back in 2010, she tweeted: ‘When guys whisper in each others ears I always think its kinda homo’

She also tweeted: ‘Wondered why my butt felt like it was about to grow legs, flip me off & walk away. then I remembered i played soccer yestrdy w 5 dyke bitches’.

As a result of the resurfaced tweets, groups pulled in protest from a 2015 performance she was supposed to do at Pittsburgh Pride.

She then canceled her performance and issued a statement.

‘Unfortunately in the past as a young person I used words I should not have,’ she said at the time. ‘The last thing I want is for something so carelessly said to be interpreted as reflective of my character.

‘I meant no harm and deeply regret ever uttering those words. As an adult, I would never use them because I understand they play a detrimental role in the fight for issues that I do truly believe in.

‘I am sorry to anyone I have offended or disappointed,’ she said.

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