As part of Billboard’s 30 Days of Pride celebration this June, numerous pop culture luminaries have written ‘love letters’ to the LGBTQ community. Read them below and share your love letter to the community using #30DaysPride this Gay Pride Month.
I’m old enough to remember friends growing up in the last century who thought being L or G or B or T or Q made them “the other” not only to others but to themselves. Sadly, in this century, too many people (who may themselves be suffering) are turning to fear, hatred, and blame rather than to love.
After years of fighting for AIDS research and against arbitrary barriers defining “normal,” you, and consequently all of us, have come a long way. You inspired me so much by never giving up until the law recognized everyone’s right to marry the person he/she/they loved. Your fierce determination to love in the face of societal hostility showed us all that the definition of love is limitless.
My hope for the future is that every being will live in harmony, peace, joy, love, and light.
Growing up in Baptist northeast Texas, hardly anyone was like me. Boys were taught to be staunchly masculine, to be interested in physical activities and to stray from anything that would make them appear less than what society deemed a ‘man’ should be. For me, I knew from an early age that I simply couldn’t adhere to these rules. I didn’t necessarily rebel, but some people may have seen me as rebellious. Or somewhat of an introvert. But I was too focused on my passions, the main one being music.
Music was one of the only things that truly allowed me to feel confident. I was good at it, and people were moved by my music. And I was moved by it, too. I spent hours on the internet fawning over incredible, colorful, expressive artists, most of whom were a part of the LGBTQ+ community. I saw myself in most of them, and as I grew as a musician and became more confident in my own skin, I looked to them as constant sources of inspiration. If they could be so unabashedly themselves, why couldn’t I?
Now, as an out-and-proud queer musician, I have the utmost privilege in being visible in the music industry. Through my endeavors, I’ve received countless coming out stories, thank-you letters, and beautiful words of kindness from incredible queer fans. Being able to inspire them, as my LGBTQ+ idols inspired me, ignites a feeling of deep gratitude inside of me that is so strong, I don’t yet have the proper words for it.
But, for now, I will say: THANK YOU. Thank you to those of you who follow me. Thank you to those of you who have shared your stories of strength with me. Your perseverance inspires me every single day to keep pressing forward. And thank you, especially, to those of you who are bold enough to keep working every day to create major differences in this world through love, acceptance, and diversity. You are what the world needs.
Happy Pride y’all! I feel so unbelievably grateful every day to be part of such a beautiful, accepting, colorful, and diverse community! Whether you are out and proud or still in the closet, whether you are 100% sure of yourself or still struggling to find your identity, just know you are unconditionally loved, beautiful, and this community is here for you!!! Time to sing, dance, and not give a f-ck! Love y’all so much!!
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