Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: @officialleeryan/@laylazeesusan
Blue star Lee Ryan launched a vicious verbal attack against a drag queen over Instagram last week, calling her a "nasty little c***".
Layla Zee Susan - a long-time fan of Ryan's - shared screenshots of the expletive-ridden abuse, sent after she called out the 'All Rise' singer for comments he made about identity.
"I might start identifying myself as an alien/star/seed/indigo child," Ryan, who is bisexual, had said in an Instagram Story. "Anything but human. Please respect my wishes."
"You f***ing melt"
Responding to this, Layla - who identifies as a gay man, and whose real name is Sammy - said in a message: "Do you not think this is a bit insensitive to your fans that do choose to identify as something outside the gender binary? This kind of mocking is really nasty and youre being a bit of a dick... [sic]"
To this, Ryan replied: "F*** off c*** - does that offend you?"
Amidst a wave of shocking messages, Ryan later said: "I just can't stand little opinionated c***s like you who think your opinion matters to me. You arrogant little c***. F*** off. I never mentioned anything about gay or binery or anything [sic]. Little mug. I'm talking about star seeds and indigo children. You f***king melt."
In subsequent messages, Ryan said: "Go f*** ya mum and tell her I'll be round later, and ya dad," and "if you was in front of me I would honestly head Butt you. But you you wouldn't say s*** to my face because your a key board troll. I never said s*** about non binery or gay - I said I don't like being a human - mostly because of little f***ers like you who shuv your opinions down people's throats and think your entitled."
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"As a gay man and a drag queen I have a platform I can use to speak"
"I hope that this can be a learning moment for everyone," Layla told Attitude today. "That we all have the ability to be an ally to our trans and non-binary siblings - and that as a gay man and a drag queen I have a platform I can use to speak. It’s essential that, no matter how we identify in the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, we all stand up for each other, fight ignorance, and spread love.
"I’m overwhelmed by the positivity I have received online since sharing my experiences. Whilst Lee Ryan’s reaction was both surprising and difficult, I want to encourage people to show kindness and to offer him the space to listen, grow and learn."
As one-quarter of Blue, Ryan is known for number one hits such as 'Too Close' and 'Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word', which featured Elton John. His bandmate Duncan James, who Layla has publicly called on to educate Ryan, is gay.
Speaking today to The Sun about the incident, Lee said: “I’m bisexual and my bandmate is gay - I would never disrespect anyone like that.
“I’m really upset and angry because I would never disrespect any community - I know what it’s like to be disrespected for no reason and it hurts."
The 38-year-old continued: “I don’t really like the human race, I think they’re lost, especially what’s going on in the world.
"It was a harmless thing, I was basically saying I’m an alien. I wasn’t being offensive to anyone, unless you’re an alien. I didn’t say one thing about the LGBTQ+ community.”
Ryan continued: “I told him to go f*** his dad with a pineapple. If he was in the street I’d slap him in the face. It wound me up that much. I would never hit a woman, but if you’ve got a dick I’ll slap you, whether you’re in drag or not."
Ryan also claimed the drag queen had since reached out to Lee and apologised.
Attitude has approached a rep for Ryan for comment.
Update: In response to Lee's claim about her apologising, Layla told Attitude: "I reached out to Lee the same evening as the argument to apologise for a number of reasons. There were clearly some very intense feelings from his side to be saying what he said and after the tragic passing of Caroline Flack we all try to preach 'in a world where you can be anything, be kind.'
"So I saw it necessary to offer him some peace in case he was struggling. I truly believe if you offer kindness and respect to anyone then that will give them the chance to grow and learn but I do not condone his behaviour."
She added: "He has failed to apologise to me for how he spoke to me and has failed to apologise to the non binary and trans community for his insensitive story on Instagram and his comments for The Sun's article are yet again unfortunate and show a lack of understanding or willingness to listen/learn. That is a great shame."
The Attitude Body Issue is out now.