Selena Gomez, Celine Dion, Britney Spears & More Write Touching Letters to the LGBTQ Community for Pride Month
By Antoinette Bueno
A few of music's biggest names are showing their support for the LGBTQ community.
In honor of Pride Month, Billboard asked a wide variety of stars to write "love letters" to the LGBTQ community, and the response is pretty amazing. Selena Gomez, Celine Dion, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera are just some of the singers who responded, sharing heartfelt, personal memories.
Gomez credits her mother, Mandy Teefey, for raising her in an environment that was "incredibly open-minded and non-judgmental." The "It Ain't Me" singer recalls hanging out with a few of her mother's friends, who just so happen to be gay.
"I remember as a young child going to brunch on Sundays with my mom and her group of friends." Gomez writes. "I had no idea they were all gay as I didn’t even comprehend what that meant at the time. All I knew is that I loved being surrounded by these kind, fun and loving friends my mother had around her."
"She also surprised me at my 16th birthday party with a performance by the most beautiful drag queen singing my favorite song," she adds. "I don’t think most 16 year olds can say that!"
Gomez says she was later inspired by the 1991 Madonna documentary Truth or Dare.
"I loved it and was especially struck by how groundbreaking it was for the gay rights movement and how far LGBTQ rights have come in my lifetime," she writes. "There is still a significant amount of work to do and I look forward to the day when a person is never judged, discriminated or feared for their sexuality."
"Continuously throughout my career, you've always been so vocal about what a positive impact I've had on you -- that I've instilled joy, hope and love in you at times when there was none," she writes. "That my music is an inspiration. That my story gives you hope."
"But I have a secret to share with you. You see, it's actually you that lifts me up," she continues. "The unwavering loyalty. The lack of judgment. The unapologetic truth. Acceptance! Your stories are what inspire me, bring me joy and make me and my sons strive to be better people. I love you."
"All of you have made such a positive impact on my life, and I hope and pray that our world will continue to better understand that acceptance and tolerance are virtues that we can never have enough of," she writes. "I've always said that music is a language that has no barriers, and it's also true that love is an emotion that has no barriers."
"Starting out in my career there was a lot of uncertainty for me as to who I was and where I fit in," she recalls. "So many labels and so many of societies rules telling me how I should be and what I should be. Yet even in my earliest years when I wanted to scream and jump out of my own skin for not fitting the perfect pop star mold there was a small group of friends that stood by me and still do today. My own little gay inner circle filled with dancers, choreographers and glam folks that to this day remain my best friends in the world."
"In this month of June and every other day of the year please know that to me you all represent the daily driving voice that tells me to keep going, to triumph against all odds and to celebrate being unique," she continues. "Because being unique doesn’t make us different from anyone else -- it just makes us more special."
More stars who submitted letters include Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Idina Menzel, Kacey Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson, Kristin Chenoweth, Lea Michele, LeAnn Rimes, Liza Minnelli, Melissa Etheridge, Naya Rivera, Nicole Scherzinger, RuPaul, Sean Hayes and Vanessa Williams.
"Look, when you love somebody, you love them. Bottom line," Perry said about facing rumors that he was gay due to their friendship. "And I loved Lex and Lex loved me, and I don't need to explain that to anybody."