Hayley Kiyoko Explains What Pride Means to Her, Recalls 'First Date' With a Girl During Billboard Live At-Home

Hayley Kiyoko
Trevor Flores

Hayley Kiyoko

To close out this year's Pride Month, Hayley Kiyoko (aka "Lesbian Jesus") appeared for a Billboard Live At-Home performance Friday (June 26) that raised money for The Bail Project.

She decorated her at-home concert venue with the Pride flag and a neon rainbow light to set the celebratory mood before performing her Kehlani-assisted hit "What I Need," "Runaway" and "Let It Be." But she didn't let her music speak for herself on why this month matters to her and how Pride extends beyond these 30 days.

"Pride to me means survival, protest, self-love. It’s a personal experience for all of us. And it’s something that individually we all work really hard to achieve," the 29-year-old singer-songwriter explained during the Q&A portion of the set. "You have to put energy and practice into your own pride and your own self-love. I love June and I love that we have a Pride Month, but I really encourage you all to practice your pride on a daily basis."

When one fan asked about her first date with a girl, the "Girls Like Girls" singer claimed she never officially had one. "A lot of the girls that I had dated in the past were like, 'Oh, we're just friends' and then we ended up... just dating," she said of her nonclassical dating process. "But I did go on one date and I went to drop her off -- this was probably like five or six years ago -- and I went to drop her off and gave her a hug. And she was like, 'You weren't gonna give me a kiss goodbye?!' And then I got in the driver's seat and I was like, 'Oh, shoot! Yeah, I can do that!' And I go out the driver's seat, walked all the way around the car and gave her a kiss. It was so embarrassing."

But other dates really resonated with Kiyoko lately: Today marks the five-year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling for gay marriage, and Wednesday (June 24) marked the five-year anniversary of her "Girls Like Girls" music video coming out, which has since garnered 124 million views on YouTube.

"It was so cool to get to celebrate that and get to celebrate it every year with you all," she said of her breakout single that first acknowledged her sexuality. "I had no idea what 'Girls Like Girls' would not only do for myself but for other people. And I'm just so grateful for you all to be so supportive and warm and encouraging."

Watch Kiyoko's whole Billboard Live At-Home performance below, and donate to The Bail Project here.

Hayley Kiyoko | Billboard Live At-Home Performance | Presented by Mercedes-Benz USA

Here comes a one-of-a-kind Billboard Live At-Home session by Hayley Kiyoko presented by Mercedes-Benz USA #ad Today's performance is in honor of World Pride Day and Hayley will be raising money for the Bail Project. Drop your questions and song requests in the comments!

Posted by Billboard on Friday, June 26, 2020

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