Lady Gaga delighted crowds in New York Friday with a surprise appearance at a rally marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, as the city gears up to welcome millions to its Gay Pride event that will feature concerts from Madonna and Grace Jones.
Stonewall Day commemorates the June 1969 riots sparked by repeated police raids on the Stonewall Inn a well-known gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village that proved to be a turning point in the LGBTQ community’s struggle for civil rights.
“I really, really hope you celebrate every inch of which you are today,” said the pop superstar, long beloved by the LGBTQ community, at the bash in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village that featured rainbow flags, drag queens and performances from stars including Alicia Keys.
“You were born this way and you are superstars,” she shouted to applause, referencing the title of her 2011 hit “Born This Way” that has become a gay rights anthem.
Up to four million people are expected to attend the city’s Gay Pride for this year’s milestone anniversary, which comes as critics say Donald Trump’s Republican administration has opened the door once again to overt discrimination.
“I look at the older generation and how you have fought to create a safe, more tolerant space for our youth,” said Gaga, sporting thigh-high glittering rainbow platform boots, denim shorts with rainbow fringe and a rainbow jacket over a black bandeau bra.
“It used to be unheard of to even come out of the closet,” the 33-year-old continued, saying that today many children “are aware of their ability to discover and name their own sexual identities; their own gender identities. They are finding themselves and they are not as afraid.”
“You did that! You created that space,” she said.
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