While playing for the Good Vibes Festival in Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, on July 21, The 1975 frontman Matty Healy had a lot to say to the government about their strict anti-LGBTQ+ laws – which he conveyed with a profanity laden speech after kissing his male fellow band member on stage. This lead to the cancellation of the whole three-day festival overall as well. In 2019, Healy did something similar previously in Dubai, kissing a male fan onstage in protest of the UAE’s legislative persecution on LGBTQ people (in the UAE, being gay may result in up to 15 years in jail and for Healy it resulted in a ban from the country).
What did Matty Healy say about the anti-LGBTQ+ laws in Kuala Lumpur?
In a video uploaded on YouTube by user aphexmaxim, Healy is seen commenting on the homophobic and transphobic laws of the country and expressing his anger at the government for imposing them before giving 1975 bassist Ross MacDonald a prolonged kiss on stage! Healy’s speech was a powerful and impassioned condemnation of Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQ laws. He spoke out against the government’s hypocrisy in inviting The 1975 to perform in the country, while at the same time criminalizing homosexuality. He also expressed his solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Malaysia, and his determination to fight for their rights.
“I made a mistake. When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it. I don’t see the fucking point… of inviting The 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with,” Healy said. “I’m sorry if that offends you, and you’re religious… but your government are a bunch of fucking r——. I don’t care anymore. If you push, I’m gonna push back. I’m not in the fucking mood.” Brandishing a bottle of wine, the singer then addressed the audience directly by saying, “Unfortunately, you don’t get a set of loads of uplifting songs because I’m fucking furious. And that’s not fair on you, because you’re not representative of your government. You are young people, and I’m sure a lot of you are gay and progressive.”
“I pulled this show yesterday, and we had a conversation. We said, ‘You know what? We can’t let the kids down because they’re not the government… If you want to invite me here to do a show, you can fuck off. I’ll take your money, you can ban me, but I’ve done this before, and it doesn’t feel good.”Matty Healy in his speech
What happened next in the 1975’s concert?
Matty Healy continued his speech for a while, adding that The 1975 had definitely considered ditching the show due to Malaysia’s laws but didn’t find it fair to the younger crowd. Then, in response and defiance to the government’s anti-gay legislation, 1975 bassist Ross MacDonald approached Healy and the two exchanged a lengthy kiss on the lips with fans erupting in gasps and cheers. Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community outlawed in the nation, laws are vigorously enforced and queer individuals regularly victims of hate crimes. With that information, Healy stated to the audience as he exited the stage: “Alright, we gotta go. We just got banned from Kuala Lumpur, I’ll see you later.” The band will next perform at We the Fest in Jakarta, Indonesia.