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5 Reasons Why Charli XCX is an Example for Queer Allies Everywhere

Charli XCX
Kevin Mazur/TAS18/Getty Images for TAS

Charli XCX performs onstage during the Taylor Swift reputation Stadium Tour at MetLife Stadium on July 20, 2018 in East Rutherford, N.J.  

Throughout her career, Charlotte Emma Aitchison, better known to her fans as Charli XCX, has been a mainstay within the LGBTQ community. Known for her futuristic electro-pop sound, the star has always found a fanbase with queer people. It’s easy to see why: from her near-constant collaborations with queer artists to her charitable actions for queer fans, Charli has always supported the community.

In honor of the release of her ambitious third studio album Charli, here are 5 reasons why Charli XCX is a great example for LGBTQ allies everywhere.

1. She regularly uplifts queer artists.

When you look through Charli’s discography, you will also find the names of countless LGBTQ artists that she’s collaborated with. Going back to her 2013 debut album True Romance, where she worked with Brooke Candy on her track “Cloud Aura,” the singer has always made room for LGBTQ artists. Her critically acclaimed mixtape Pop 2 was partly heralded for her extremely inclusive collaborations, and her latest album, Charli, features even more queer artists than the those that came before, with Troye Sivan, Christine and the Queens, Kim Petras, Big Freedia, Pabllo Vittar, Brooke Candy and Clairo all making appearances. 

2. She helped Troye Sivan throw a queer music festival.

In a time when queer music festivals often book straight artists to perform for LGBTQ fans, Charli teamed up with her longtime friend and collaborator to put on a music festival by queer artists and for queer artists. The inaugural Go West Fest featured a litany of queer talent, including Carlie Hanson, Chika, Dorian Electra and many more, with the event’s proceeds going to LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD. 

3. She attributes her success to her queer fans.

In multiple interviews, Charli has gone on record to say that without her LGBTQ supporters, she would not be making music today. “The LGBTQ community has shaped who I am as an artist today,” she told Billboard in a love letter to the LGBTQ community. “I am thankful every day for my friends, fans and collaborators, who belong to this very special community. Without you I’d be nothing.”

4. She owns up to her mistakes and aims to fix them.

Even when she’s been involved in a controversy surrounding the LGBTQ community, Charli has gone out of her way to make sure that something positive can come from that experience. Back in June 2018, Charli was featured on Rita Ora’s controversial single “Girls,” which received significant backlash from the queer community for trivializing same-sex attraction. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the singer first apologized for the song’s slight to the community, and took the opportunity to make the experience a teaching moment. “We can all learn from this conversation,” she said. “It would be great to continue this dialogue in a positive way — not in an attacking way — so that people can learn about people’s feelings, about people’s sexualities and viewpoints.”

5. She threw a party to help a young queer artist pay for surgery.

When now-passed queer singer Billy Clayton told Charli that he was undergoing an expensive treatment for his rare form of bone cancer, the singer rolled up her sleeves and got to work. The result was The Billy Ball, a day-long concert-fundraiser extravaganza, bringing in talent like Allie X, Daya, Vincint and more to perform a concert and raise money for Clayton. Not only was Charli once again allowing queer voices to take center stage, she was also putting her money where her mouth was to help a sick LGBTQ artist realize his dreams. 

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