LGBT proponent Lady Gaga opened the 2013 Gay Pride Weekend in New York City with a tear-filled speech and her own special rendition of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ pride flag in hand. (We can assure you there will be no claims of lip-syncing here.)
A subdued looking Gaga took to the stage on Friday night (June 28) to tell the crowd about her experiences in high school as an outcast, saying, “There was a particular crowd who did accept me. There was a particular crowd who made room for me at their table, who held me up when I felt I couldn’t, who loved me for exactly who I was. It was you. ”
“You saved me, my friends in the LGBT community, time and time again. And I saw God for the first real time in all of you.”
She also discussed homophobic-related attacks in the city, telling the crowd, “We are not a niche. We are a part, a big giant part of humanity. It’s time for us to be mainstream. I demand the rights! To safe streets!”
“As my LGBT friends and fans always said to me, ‘I knew Lady Gaga when…’ Well look who the star is now,” she said, pointing to the cheering crowd. “Now I get to say that I knew you when. Now I get to say I knew you when you suffered. When you felt unequal. When you felt there was nothing to look forward to.”
“I knew you then. And I knew you when, but I really know you now.”
After the speech, Gaga performed the National Anthem, changing the final line “and the home of the brave” to “and a home for the gays.” Watch her stunning rendition of that below.