Our hearts have been with singer Kesha ever since we heard the news that a New York judge had told her that she was unable to break her contract with a record producer she had accused of rape and abuse. But we hope the singer feels a little bit more love after receiving an LGBT visibility award from Human Rights Campaign Nashville for her work with LGBT youth.
The singer, who came out as bisexual in 2013 and has officiated a couple of weddings, took to the stage in high spirits, joking about her Wicked-style weave, but it wasn’t long before the emotions got the better of her.
‘As many of you know, I am going through some personal things that have been really intense and hard lately, and I just want to say thank you for any support I have received,’ she said. ‘My message today is don’t be afraid to speak up against any injustice you experience. Don’t let people scare or shame you into changing the things about you that make you unique.’
She added: ‘I have a very deep connection to the LGBT community since I was a little girl growing up here in Nashville. Back then I was a very odd little kid with homemade clothes and an inability to fit in. As you can see not a lot has changed. My mum taught me to love everyone and everything. She taught me that we are all equal. So we should all love all living things.’
‘Those beliefs didn’t help me fit in! I often felt like a misfit. So I often gravitated to oath social outsiders, many of them in the LGBT community, though back then we didn’t know what LGBT meant. We knew we got bullied for being ourselves, shamed for being different and encouraged to hide the things that made us unique. Music was my outlet. I recorded songs about people celebrating themselves. I tried to find a rock and roll paradise. I want to give other people to feel like they are not alone.
‘After my career started happening, I still felt like an outsider. I still do. I would read things about me criticising me. It’s hard to have confidence in yourself if the world criticises you for being yourself. Of course, there are many people who have had it harder than me. I have met people and have friends who have come close to taking their own life. It’s heartbreaking. I don’t want to live in a world where we treat people like that. My message is about being yourself, you really have to love each other and support each other.’
Watch all of Kesha’s beautifully emotional speech here.