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Frankie Grande Opens Up About LGBTQ Representation During Bentonville Film Festival (Exclusive)

Real talk! Frankie Grande opened up about the importance of LGBTQ representation at the Bentonville Film Festival on Thursday, May 9.

Related: LGBTQ Characters on TV

“I think that we’re seeing a lot more trans men and women represented in film and television, which is beautiful,” Grande told Us Weekly exclusively after speaking at the “Queer and Here to Stay” Panel Presented by MARs. “Also, that there’s been this movement towards LGBT characters playing LGBT … LGBT actors playing LGBT characters, which is so important because when you have a straight person playing an LGBTQ role, it doesn’t give the same message of normalizing it for the masses, for the people.”

Frankie Grande In Love Boyfriend Hale Leon
Frankie J. Grande during the 5th Annual Bentonville Film Festival at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art on May 8, 2019 in Bentonville, Arkansas. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Grande named his sister, Ariana Grande, and Madonna as people who have been an ally to him and the entire LGBTQ community.

Related: Ariana Grande Through the Years

“I think in terms of people that I was looking up to my whole childhood, obviously my grandfather and his confidence and strength, and the strong women in my life, my grandmother, my mother, and Madonna. It was Madonna, hands down, no question, she is the original unapologetic bitch,” he explained. “[Madonna] was just herself no matter what, defying societal concepts of what a woman could be like, what a woman should be like, introducing homosexuality to the masses via her dancers, via Truth or Dare. I remember watching that as a very young kid.”

Watch the video above for more from Grande.

With reporting by Marc Lupo

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