On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall, Lady Gaga — dressed in militant Pride gear — hit a stage erected on the corner of Waverly and Christopher St. in New York City to pay fervent tribute to the queer community she’s long been an ally of during WorldPride.
“True love is when you would take a bullet for someone,” Gaga said, addressing the LGBTQ community. “And you know I would take a bullet for you any day of the week.” She also spoke about the need “to change the system of an extremely oppressive administration” and asked the crowd to think of the progress we can make in the next 50 years if we keep “inject[ing] the world with this message of unity and passion.”
At one point in her teary, fiery speech, she did get boos – but only when she suggested some people might not consider her part of the community (the audience was NOT hearing it). “Even though I do like girls sometimes,” she added with a smirk. Check out Gaga’s full, impassioned speech outside of Stonewall below.
After Gaga, the Pride Live Stonewall Day Concert brought out RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bob the Drag Queen, whose lip sync of Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” included a massive reveal — Alicia herself. Keys delivered stirring covers of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” and her own classic NYC ode, “Empire State of Mind.”
Backstage at the second annual Stonewall Day, Cyndi Lauper mingled with people like Whoopi Goldberg, Andy Cohen and Elvis Duran. Dontella Versace, George Takei and Chelsea Clinton were also in attendance. “We had a great showing last year, but this is beyond our wildest dreams,” Pride Live board president Halivah Clarke told Billboard.
Conchita Wurst, who won Eurovision 2014 dressed in drag, spoke to Billboard about the duality of a day celebrating Stonewall. “It is a party and a celebration of life and individuality. But it’s also very serious. It’s about mourning those people we’ve lost and concentrating on those countries where all of this isn’t possible.”
GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis echoed the sentiment that Pride is also about looking ahead at the work to be done. “It’s a moment to look to the future — what’s on our agenda, what do we still have to do. There are 11 trans women of color who have been murdered this year — there’s no press on that right now. We can still be fired in over half the states in the United States, put through conversion therapy, denied housing, and it’s still criminalized in 70 countries around the world. We have a long way to go, but this is a moment to pause and celebrate.”