Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean: Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community

For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write "love letters" to the LGBTQ community. Below, singer AJ McLean of Backstreet Boys shares his. Read more Pride Month love letters here.

I started doing musical theater at a young age and I was introduced to a whole new world of people -- gay and straight -- and I fell in love. My world was inclusive, we were all equals, and nobody was better or less than. That’s what the LGBTQ community stands for in my mind -- unity, freedom, compassion, knowing, understanding and loving yourself and being clear about your worth. Being true to yourself no matter what, and knowing that no one can bring you down.

I love that my two daughters see no color and that they see no sexual orientation, they only see love and that’s the way I want to raise my beautiful girls. In a society that is unified, full of love, compassion and zero tolerance for hatred, bigotry, discrimination and hate.

To the LGBTQ community -- I love you; I cherish you; I respect you; I admire you and you inspire me every day to be a better father, a better husband, and a better person.

Gay Pride Month 2017