Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance near the Stonewall Inn in New York City, where she delivered a passionate speech for LGBTQ rights.
“Look around you. Look at what you have done. ... This community has fought and continued to fight a war of acceptance, a war of tolerance, and the most relentless bravery. You are the definition of courage," said the "Born This Way" singer.
Addressing the cheering crowd, Gaga confessed she was made "emotional" by Stonewall Day, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the uprising against police brutality at the Stonewall Inn. Because of these riots, the gay bar is considered the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
Gaga, who said she felt "honored and privileged" to be part of WorldPride, took the occasion to reaffirm her bisexual identity. "I like girls sometimes,” declared the singer, who delivered an affirming message to her audience while doubling down on her own advocacy.
“I hope you celebrate every inch of who you are today. You were born this way and you are superstars!” declared Gaga, who said she felt inspired by the bravery of older LGBTQ people who had the courage to come out and pave the way for a more accepting generation. She reiterated the importance of asking a person's pronouns, as she previously discussed at a concert earlier this week.
“I will continue to fight every day during shows, and even when I’m not onstage, to spread a message that’s actually quite simple: Be kind. And guess what? That kindness belongs to you. It always has belonged to you. Even when the world was not kind, it belonged to you. All the galaxies, stars, and even God, I know all had your back. So today, and I hope every day: Dance, sing, rejoice, worship yourself, worship each other!”
Gaga concluded her remarks with a message of support for the transgender community, recognizing the epidemic of violence its members face as well as political attacks from the Trump administration. She thanked by name trans pioneers Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who "ignited the fight for all of us."
“It is said that those who threw the first brick on that historic night were members of the trans community," said Gaga. "And while we have made tremendous progress, we find ourselves at a time where attacks on the trans community are on an increasing rise each day. I will not tolerate this."
"That distance between us and them — those who are not listening and who do not understand — that is the space for an important dialogue as a community and how we all move forward together to change the system of an extremely oppressive administration," she said, adding, "Embrace the Stonewall legacy. Love each other, raise your voice, and my gosh, vote, don’t forget to vote!”
“True love is when you would take a bullet for someone, and you know that I would take a bullet for you any day of the week," Gaga concluded.
Gaga was not the only star to appear at the surprise concert on Christopher Street, which has been dubbed the "gay Woodstock" by passersby. Alicia Keys, Donatella Versace, Bob the Drag Queen, Chelsea Clinton, Grace VanderWaal, Wilson Cruz, Alex Newell, Pose's Angelica Ross and Ryan Jamaal Swain, Whoopi Goldberg, Conchita Wurst, and Valerie Jarrett also took the stage to support the LGBTQ community on the eve of WorldPride.
Presented by United Airlines, the event was launched by Pride Live, a social advocacy and community engagement organization for the LGBTQ community, iHeartMedia New York’s Z100, and 103.5 KTU, with support from GLAAD.
Watch the singer's remarks below.