Blue's Lee Ryan denies homophobia after identity row with drag queen

BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 09: Lee Ryan of the band 'Blue' arrives for the GQ Men of the year Award 2017 at Komische Oper on November 9, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images for GQ)
Lee Ryan has denied homophobia, because he is bisexual. (Getty Images for GQ)

Blue's Lee Ryan has denied accusations of homophobia after a row about gender identity with a drag queen on social media.

The 38-year-old boyband star was "called out" by drag artist Layla Zee Susan - real name Sam Sheperd - after Ryan stated on Instagram: "I might start identifying myself as an alien / star / seed / indigo child. Anything but human. Please respect my wishes."

Sheperd - a self-confessed fan of Ryan - commented on the post, pointing out that the comment could offend fans who do identify as a different gender and told the former Strictly Come Dancing contestant it was "nasty" and added, "You're being a bit of a d***."

Sam Sheperd, aka Layla Zee Susan, who was threatened by Lee Ryan after 'calling out' his offensive comment. (Instagram)
Sam Sheperd, aka Layla Zee Susan, who was threatened by Lee Ryan after 'calling out' his offensive comment. (Instagram)

The All Rise singer replied: “F*** off c***. Does that offend you?”

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Ryan has now told The Sun: "I’m bisexual and my bandmate is gay - I would never disrespect anyone like that.”

Blue's Duncan James came out as gay in 2014.

Ryan added: “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.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: Lee Ryan, Simon Webbe, Antony Costa and Duncan James of Blue during the recordings of NHS Voices charity single 'With A Little Help From My Friends' at Abbey Road Studios, June 14, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Brian Rasic/WireImage)
Lee Ryan with his Blue bandmates Simon Webbe, Antony Costa and Duncan James. (Getty Images)

Ryan admitted he had reacted aggressively to the comment, saying: “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 d*** I’ll slap you, whether you’re in drag or not.”

Sheperd said in a statement posted on his Instagram stories: "His response isn't great in my opinion.

"I'm not a voice for non-binary and trans people but I'm trying to be a voice with that community.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Lee Ryan of Blue performs during The Paul Strank Charity Summer Party at Opium on July 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Lee Ryan sent agrressive and threatening messages to Sam Sheperd following his comments 'calling out' the star for being offensive. (Getty Images)

"I hope that this can be a learning moment for everyone. 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.

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"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."

Watch: Lee Ryan revealed an embarrassing incident occurred during Blue's Eurovision appearance