Christina Aguilera will headline LA Pride this Saturday. Ahead of the festivities, the “Beautiful” singer explained why she is a staunch defender of the LGBTQ community.

“I’m all about people standing up for what they believe in, which is why I think the LGBTQ+ community feels connected to me. We’ve all come from struggle; We’ve all had to fight to be heard,” she wrote in a People op-ed. “Being an LGBTQ+ ally is not something that’s short-lived. It’s in my DNA.”

The Grammy winner has felt a connection with the community ever since she entered the music industry. “I had a hard time feeling like I had to look and act a certain way to fit into the pop star mold. But I did not want to be this safe, conventionally pretty, precious thing,” she recalled, which is what led her to ditch the facade and embrace who she truly was with her 2002 album, Stripped.

“It was the first album where I told stories that I really believed in,” she wrote, explaining it was an outlet to share her “personal struggles.” She added she’s “proud” of the “Beautiful” music video, which featured a gay couple and a trans woman.

“I wasn’t thinking too much about it beyond wanting to show people owning who they are. It was somehow taboo at the time, but it represented something so true,” said Christina. “I still hear stories about how that video has helped people, and it means everything to me.”

Christina adds the LGBTQ community has helped her over the years and has become “my support system and family.”

She says her connection with the community matters more to her than her “accolades and awards” because, as she stated, “They’re my people.”

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