Jade Thirlwall claims there is inherent 'homophobia and toxic masculinity' up north


Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall has alleged there is inherent ‘homophobia and toxic masculinity’ in Northern England due to a ‘small-minded mentality’. 

The Wings hitmaker, 28, who hails from South Shields in the North East, has become as known for her LGBTQ advocacy as her music and has now spoken about how she struggled with the views of her townspeople surrounding the gay community. 

Speaking on Jessie Ware’s Table Manners podcast, she was asked by the Wildest Moments singer’s mum if it was ‘hard up north’, to which she replied: ‘It’s really hard. I think it’s that like, yeah a bit more small-minded, a bit of an old-fashioned mentality.’

Tough: Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall has alleged there is inherent 'homophobia and toxic masculinity' in Northern England due to a 'small-minded mentality'

Tough: Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall has alleged there is inherent ‘homophobia and toxic masculinity’ in Northern England due to a ‘small-minded mentality’

Jade soared to fame on The X Factor, where Little Mix were formed, in 2011 and has since enjoyed huge fame both with the group and on her own. 

Speaking about the battles she faced in her youth to establish her advocacy, she candidly detailed her feelings about views of others. 

She said: ‘A lot of people are willing to listen, but they just don’t understand it because it’s like passed through generations isn’t it…

‘So if your granddad is being brought up to be homophobic then, of course, their son is going to then listen to that, and that toxic masculinity just seeps through each generation..

Struggles: The Wings hitmaker, 28, who hails from South Shields in the North East, has become as known for her LGBTQ advocacy as her music and has now spoken about how she struggled with the views of her townspeople surrounding the gay community

Struggles: The Wings hitmaker, 28, who hails from South Shields in the North East, has become as known for her LGBTQ advocacy as her music and has now spoken about how she struggled with the views of her townspeople surrounding the gay community

 ‘It was very like that growing up – I sort of understood that it was wrong, and I didn’t agree with it, but I didn’t know how to express that.’

Jade also detailed her love of the drag community, saying: ‘My first love was drag culture before the LGBT scene. At a very young age I didn’t really understand what that was. I’d just see these divas like Diana Ross or Cher and be obsessed.

‘Once a year me and my family would always go to Benidorm, and we’d go and see all the drag acts and I’d watch it and be fascinated. I’d be like ‘who are these amazing adult cartoons?’.. 

‘And then we’d get back home, and it was suddenly not celebrated anymore. It was very bizarre. And then I’d get into musical theatre, and I had a lot of gay friends who couldn’t come out…

Difficult: Speaking on Jessie Ware's Table Manners podcast, she was asked by the Wildest Moments singer's mum if it was 'hard up north', to which she replied: 'It's really hard. I think it's that like, yeah a bit more small-minded, a bit of an old-fashioned mentality'

Difficult: Speaking on Jessie Ware’s Table Manners podcast, she was asked by the Wildest Moments singer’s mum if it was ‘hard up north’, to which she replied: ‘It’s really hard. I think it’s that like, yeah a bit more small-minded, a bit of an old-fashioned mentality’

‘They’d have to move out of South Shields to feel like they could live somewhere, where it’s going to be accepted.’ 

Her latest interview comes after it was reported that all of Little Mix are planning solo careers after their tour ends next spring which could spark the end of the group.

Leigh-Anne Pinnock, 30, Perrie Edwards, 28, and Jade are all said to be eager to work on their own solo projects following former bandmate Jesy Nelson, 30, quitting the group last December.

According to The Sun, the group have been quietly negotiating new management and recording deals but may decide to go on an indefinite hiatus, rather than call time on the band for good.

Going solo: The members of Little Mix are reportedly all planning solo careers after their tour ends next spring which could spark the end of the group (Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade and Perrie Edwards pictured in May 2021)

Going solo: The members of Little Mix are reportedly all planning solo careers after their tour ends next spring which could spark the end of the group (Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade and Perrie Edwards pictured in May 2021)

A source said: ‘They’ve been pretty open with each other about it. There are a lot of meetings happening at the moment. Some of them have already done management deals.

‘Leigh-Anne has signed up with Dua Lipa’s manager, Jade is cutting her teeth as a songwriter and presenter while Perrie is working on other things too. They still get on great, despite everything which has happened with Jesy. But her departure put the cat among the pigeons.

‘They all know there will have to be a career beyond Little Mix, So they’ve put things in place. The plan is to see out commitments, then turn to solo projects almost immediately…

‘The intention is to keep the band going too, but that’s how One Direction ended and it’s hard to believe they will have time for everything.’ 

Split: They are said to be working on their own solo projects following former bandmate Jesy Nelson, 30, quitting the group last December (Jesy pictured in October 2021)

Split: They are said to be working on their own solo projects following former bandmate Jesy Nelson, 30, quitting the group last December (Jesy pictured in October 2021)

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