Alfonso Ribeiro gave a perfect explanation for the importance of intersectionality.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor traveled to Salt Lake City Saturday for LoveLoud, a music festival for LGBT youth, because he wanted to help “a community that doesn’t typically have a lot of support,” he told The Advocate.
And he had a message for queer young people. “Be yourself. Be proud,” said Ribeiro. “I just feel like, even as an African-American, we’re all minorities now, and we’re all together, and we all need to support one another and just say that you are loved.”
Later in the day, the 46-year-old actor took the stage to further expand upon his message — that marginalized groups should stand together — to the crowd at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
“We stand together as one against people who don’t want us to exist,” Ribeiro said. “Real equality is what brings us together as one in this journey called life. Love who your heart tells you to love and always come from a place of understanding and compassion. These are the values that bring us together. They unite us.”
He then addressed LGBT young people:
You are loved. You are accepted. You are part of my world, but we are all a part of each other’s world. Tomorrow, you will wake up and LoveLoud will be gone. The support and community and all the charities that are here to benefit from our support will grab hold and take over. Utilize them. Stay together and let others know you are here for them. Be their rock. Be their support. Use your power to empower others. We must continue to uplift all of you to know that you have the support system that you are allowed to be who you are. People say there is a separation between exterior and your soul. But who you see yourself as is all that matters. And it’s only your soul that speaks for you, how everyone else deals with it is their problem. Love proud. Love strong. Love loud.
Since Saturday was also National Dance Day, Ribeiro concluded his speech with his famous dance from Fresh Prince, in which his character Carlton rocked out to Tom Jones’s “It’s Not Unusual.”
LoveLoud was launched by singer Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons in 2017, in response to the crisis of youth suicide in Utah and among LGBT youth. Performers including Tyler Glenn, Jussie Smollett, Mary Lambert, Vincint, Mike Shinoda, Zedd, and Wrabel joined Reynolds onstage to shine a spotlight on this worthy cause.
In addition to awareness, the festival, which was sponsored by AT&T, raised over $1 million for LGBT groups like the Trevor Project, Encircle, and the Tegan and Sara Foundation.