Christina Aguilera was set to receive the HRC Ally for Equality Award in person on Saturday.
However, presenters announced at the beginning of the 2019 HRC Los Angeles Dinner that the singer would not be appearing at the charity event. No reason for her absence was given.
Instead, Aguilera posted a message of support for the LGBTQ community and the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBTQ organization, in a post on Instagram:
Since the very beginning of my career I have leaned on the LGBTQ+ community for support, friendship, joy and acceptance. I have found the most solace and unimaginable strength in my friends who identify as queer, and I have crawled out of some of my darkest times thanks to the small group of people I surround myself with - fellow dancers, glam artists, and creatives who I realize are overcoming obstacles of their own - the fights for freedom, the struggles for equality, and prayers for acceptance.
I think the reason why I connect so deeply with this community is my intense love for anyone who is grateful and passionate to be living as their true selves. I thrive in the company of other humans who are proud of individuality, authenticity and creativity. I wore piercings when society told me to be fresh faced. I kissed girls when executives told me fans would look away. I helped give attention to gay relationships and eating disorders and phobias when they were mostly taboo. What I realize is that I would not have had the power to be where I am today without the return acceptance from those who, like myself, were labeled as 'other.'
While these social relationships leave me satisfied and fulfilled, I can't help but acknowledge the struggle to get where we are today. The activists on the front lines of change have created a world for my friends to also thrive. These forward steps would truly not be possible without the perseverance of the Human Rights Campaign. I recognize there are still so many hurdles ahead, but to realize how far we've come and that my voice and presence has made an impact thus far is more fulfilling than words can express. To be acknowledged by the @HRCLosAngeles - our leaders who fight for equality - is an honor I accepted with much gratitude. I am unfortunately unable to attend in person tonight, but I look forward to continuing my support of, for and with the HRC.
Following the announcement that Aguilera would be absent from the dinner, presenter Adam Rippon and singer Shea Diamond both expressed disappointment with the six-time Grammy winner's absence; Rippon said he had been looking forward to a duet, and Diamond said she had worn her dress that night to impress the diva.
The six-time Grammy winner and one of the world's best-selling music artists had given many contributions to the LGBTQ community in the past. Her 2002 song "Beautiful" became a queer anthem for its inclusive message and for incorporating an LGBTQ narrative in its music video, which went on to win a GLAAD Media Award. She has gone on to advocate for causes like HIV and elevate queer artists through her role as a coach on The Voice.
In 2017, Aguilera penned a love letter to the LGBTQ community on Billboard. "The LGBTQ community has never had it easy, the struggles each one of you faces daily on an individual level and on a broader political and cultural level are unimaginable, yet you keep fighting, you keep moving forward trailblazing and beating all odds with love always in your hearts."
Yeardley Smith was also an honoree at the event, held at the JW Marriott L.A. LIVE. The Simpsons actress was present to receive the HRC National Leadership Award. Featured speakers included Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Cory Booker. The event also included performances from Betty Who, Shea Diamond, and comedian Dana Goldberg.