Lady Gaga opened up about a personal struggle during an emotional visit with homeless, LGBTQ teens in New York.
“I told the kids today, ‘I suffer from PTSD.’ I’ve never told anyone that before. So here we are,” Gaga told Today of the visit. “But the kindness that’s shown to me by doctors as well as my family, and my friends, it’s really saved my life.”
The “Perfect Illusion” singer recently took to the Ali Forney Center in Harlem to surprise the teens with gifts as part of Today, Minted and NBC Universal’s #ShareKindness campaign.
“These children are not just homeless or in need. Many of them are trauma survivors. They’ve been rejected in some type of way,” Gaga, 30, said. “My own trauma in my life has helped me to understand the trauma of others.”
Many of the teens broke into tears as they hugged the singer and told their own stories.
“When family was pushing me away because I’m gay, all I had is you and Born This Way album on repeat,” one teen said.
The star led the teens in a brief meditation exercise during her visit, noting that the practice helps her to “calm down.”
“I don’t have the same kind of issues that you have, but I have a mental illness and I struggle with that every day so I need my mantra to help keep me relaxed,” she said.
She told Today that she’s been searching for ways to “help” herself, “and I found that kindness is the best way.”
“I am no better than any of those kids. And I’m no worse than any of them,” she said. “We are equal. We both walk our two feet on the same earth. And we’re in this together.”