In celebration of Pride Month, Billboard has asked an array of recording artists to write their own personal “love letters” to the LGBTQ community, and the year’s first letter comes from Ariana Grande.
“There is nothing more infectious than the joy and love that the LGBTQ community exudes,” she writes. “I grew up with a gay brother whose every move I would emulate. I idolized him. Everything Frankie did, I would do. I can’t remember a difference between Frankie before he came out and Frankie after he came out. He’s always just been Frankie. Sexuality and gender were never topics my family and I were afraid to discuss. When Frankie came out my surprisingly unfazed (for his age) grandfather said, ‘Congrats! Can we go to dinner now? I’m f**kin’ hungry.’”
Grande also writes about being “taught to do my makeup by queens in gay bars in New York City. I made my Broadway debut at 14 years old and did eight shows a week but there was never a night I was too tired to run to a gay bar and do a quick Whitney cover before bed.”
In fact, Grande maintains that seeing her music “embraced and celebrated by the LGBTQ community is all I ever truly cared about when I thought about my career goals early on. There’s no award I could win or accolade I could receive that would fulfill me more than seeing a six-foot queen with a four-foot ponytail walk into my meet-n-greet and say ‘hey girl’ or meeting a young queer person at Starbucks and them letting me know that my music has helped them become who they are. Literally nothing,” she continues.
“Love is like music. It knows no boundaries and isn’t exclusive to any one gender, sexuality, race, religion, age or creed. It’s a freedom and a delicious luxury that all people should be able to sink into and enjoy every moment of,” she adds.
“I am eternally indebted to and inspired by the LGBTQ community. I hope to create anthems for you that wrap you up with comfort and make you get your best life for as long as I live. Thank you for celebrating me the way I celebrate you,” she concludes. “I love you forever.”