The singer, 29, received the Visibility award for her work to "advance and advocate for the LGBT movement," said her friend Wrabel, who introduced her

By Adam Carlson
Updated March 06, 2016 11:15 AM
Credit: Wade Payne/Invision/AP

When Kesha took the stage at the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Nashville Equality Dinner in Tennessee as the HRC Visibility Award winner on Saturday night, she shared a simple message for everyone in the room:

“You are all beautiful just as you are.”

The singer, 29, received the Visibility award for her work to “advance and advocate for the LGBT movement,” said her friend Wrabel, who introduced her in a moving and personal speech (with a teasing reference to her weave).

“Her music gives us life, her voice sings out for so many who are silenced,” Wrabel said. “By their own fear, by a bully at school, or their workplace, by their family. Kesha’s words are written on her heart and her heart is pinned to her sleeve. And through music and her example, she offers a safe space where you can be who you are and you can love every part of yourself.”

In her acceptance speech, Kesha gave back all of the support she had received.

First, she thanked those in the room who have stood with her during her ongoing legal battle with the music producer Dr. Luke, who she is suing and alleging that he drugged and raped her and both emotionally and verbally abused her for a decade, which he as adamantly denied.

“For any of you who know, I’m going through some personal things that have been really intense and hard lately, and I just want to say thank you for any support I’ve received,” Kesha said, to cheers and cries of “we love you!” from the audience.

She also spoke of fame – a “strange and unnatural” thing, whose best part was what it allowed her to do for others.

“It has put me in the position where I can actually do something positive in the world,” she said.

And for all the progress that has been made for LGBT people, she said, such as the legalization of same-sex marriage, there is still so much more work to do.

For example, Kesha called out specific bills in the Tennessee state legislation, including one which would prevent transgender students from using the facilities which match their gender identity.

“I know people have been talking about that all night, but that’s f—–!” she said.

As someone with “a very deep connection to the LGBT community” since she was a child growing up in Nashville, Kesha said she learned from a young age to treat everyone equally. She said she has also acutely felt the pain of being an outsider, and that music has been her outlet all along.

“That’s why my message has always been about being yourself, and we really have to love each other and support each other,” she said, her voice breaking. “Believe me, when I sing these words I’m talking to myself as much as I’m talking to anyone else.”

She ended her acceptance speech with a call for more action and less fear. More equality.

“You are all beautiful just as you are,” she said. “And you have all my love and my support until the day I die.”