Thursday, at the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, Christina Aguilera walked the stage to both receive and give love.
Michael Anderson, a survivor of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs, presented Aguilera, 42, with the Advocate for Change award. Aguilera stated, “Looking out into this audience, I see so many familiar faces and beautiful people, and I am so glad to be in this room with you all.”
She said, “I grew up in this community, as the majority of my lifelong best friends are LGBTQ, and so much of who I am and what I do is due to each of you and our shared experience of having to battle for equality and freedom in some form.”
The celebrity, who has long advocated for LGBTQ concerns, stated that the community has had a profound effect on her life. She said with a smirk, “We’ve taught and learned everything about life together, from business to relationships to music, family, and parties.” “I have no idea who does it better.”
The conclusion of the celebrity’s list of LGBTQ influences was very personal. She then said, “I mean, I’m just saying that we know how to get nasty, alright?”
Aguilera then discussed her profound grasp of the extremely grave difficulties affecting the LGBTQ population. “While I’ve had years of incredible moments with this family, the community has endured decades of fighting, and we will continue to do so,” she said. “I’m constantly inspired by your examples of the courage it takes to fight for the acceptance, respect, and safety that every human being deserves, which is the central message of the music and art I’ve created over the years.”
The five-time Grammy winner stated that she is all too familiar with the sorrow of violence. She stated, “When you’ve been a victim of assault, abuse, or trauma, it’s tremendously difficult and frightening to find your voice and fight back.” “Growing up in a family with domestic abuse, watching my mother in a powerless situation triggered in me the need to speak up for those whose voices are not heard, even though it is not easy.”
Aguilera concluded her statement by addressing her introducer, Michael Anderson, as the genuine hero of the evening. “It takes amazing fortitude to experience violence and then decide, ‘I’m going to do something to change it,'” she said of the activist who flew to Washington after the Club Q attack to speak with politicians.
She said, “It takes courage. If we want to live in a world without discrimination, hatred, and violence, we must all speak up.”