Pop diva Christina Aguilera is known for her big voice, over-the-top wardrobe and pop hits like “Genie in a Bottle” and “Fighter,” but the superstar earned her status as a gay icon for advocating for LGBTQ equality and representation over the course of her career.
In her Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community for Billboard, Christina called her LGBTQ fans her fighters, heroes and the reason she loves what she does. “The LGBTQ community has never had it easy,” she wrote. “The struggles each one of you faces daily on an individual level and on a broader political and cultural level are unimaginable, yet you keep fighting, you keep moving forward trailblazing and beating all odds with love always in your hearts.”
Here are five times Xtina has lived out those values:
She reminded us that we’re beautiful
In 2002, Christina dedicated her single “Beautiful” to the LGBTQ community, and the Jonas Åkerlund-directed music video earned Xtina a GLAAD Media Award for its positive portrayal of gay and transgender people. In her acceptance speech, Christina dedicated the song to “anyone who’s been discriminated against or unaccepted, unappreciated or disrespected just because of who [they] are.” In 2011, U.K. LGBT rights organization Stonewall named “Beautiful” the most empowering song of the previous decade for gay, lesbian and bisexual people.
She called out myths around HIV
In 2004, Christina lent her face to MAC Cosmetics for the 10th anniversary of its MAC AIDS Fund, which has raised more than $500 million exclusively through the sale of MAC’s VIVA Glam Lipstick and Lipglass donating all proceeds to fight HIV/AIDS since it began in 1994.
In an interview promoting the campaign, Christina made it clear that HIV and AIDS don’t discriminate. “[People] think it can’t happen to them or that it only happens to a certain stereotype or gender, but it [can affect] everyone’s lives.”
She advocated for marriage equality
In 2008, Aguilera spoke out against Proposition 8, a ballot measure amending California’s constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. In an interview with MTV News, she said, “Why would you put so much money behind something [aimed at] stopping people from loving each other? I just don’t understand it.”
She made this visual love letter for her fans as a response to the rise of gay bullying and suicides
For the accompanying music video for her single “Let There Be Love,” Christina chose to dedicate the dance track to her LGBTQ fans.
Christina enlists kids, dancers and entertainers, including Nicole Richie and Christina Milian, to hold up signs with phrases and words like “no hate,” “equality” and “amo mi hijo gay” (“I love my gay son”). The video sparked a social movement, for which her fans sent her selfies making the letter “L” with their hands to represent the concept for “love.”
— Christina Aguilera (@xtina) September 1, 2013
She dedicated the song “Change” to Pulse victims and survivors
After the mass shooting at LGBTQ nightclub Pulse — where 49 people, mostly young, gay and Hispanic, lost their lives — Christina dedicated the song “Change” to the victims and survivors with proceeds going directly to the victim’s families.
Additionally, Christina wrote a strongly worded note addressing the shooting on her website encouraging everyone to embrace individuality and celebrate diversity.
“The horrific tragedy that occurred in Orlando continues to weigh heavily on my mind,” she wrote. “We all have the choice to spread love, encourage individuality and make a difference to others — we are all in this together, as one, united in love.”
Well said and well done, Christina.
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