Each day, we are reminded of the struggles of the LGBT community in America. Less than a year after the Pulse Nightclub shootings, the LGBT people still struggle to maintain their legal rights and face incredibly tough circumstances when it comes to their livelihood. There are states in which you can be fired for your sexuality, arrested for your gender identity and politicians who believe that the LGBT community is a threat to society, its people comparable to animals.
This is why it’s so important that popular cultural figures speak out in support of LGBT people and provide validation for their experience with encouragement.
Pop superstar Selena Gomez recently penned a touching open letter describing her affections for LGBT people everywhere. Gomez expressed her support by describing her childhood, including hanging with her mom’s gay friends and her 16th birthday, which included a drag performance.
Here is the note in full, via Billboard:
I remember as a young child going to brunch on Sundays with my mom and her group of friends. 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. I definitely give credit to her for raising me in an environment that was incredibly open-minded and non-judgmental. She also surprised me at my 16th birthday party with a performance by the most beautiful drag queen singing my favorite song. I don’t think most 16 year olds can say that!
My co-writer Justin Tranter couldn’t believe I had never seen the Madonna documentary Truth or Dare and so while we were in Mexico he sat me down to watch it with him. 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. 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.
This isn’t Gomez’s first time speaking out.
After last year’s Orlando massacre, the singer performed a tribute to the victims while on her tour. Gomez also chose to perform in North Carolina after the passing of its discriminatory trans bathroom bill, but donated the proceeds of the corresponding concert to local pride groups.
We might be living in trying times, but if more people were expressing love and support like Selena is, then maybe it would help so many who are struggling.