For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write “love letters” to the LGBTQ community. Below, singer-songwriter Julia Michaels shares hers. Read more Pride Month love letters here.
Two years ago, I was leaving Orlando, Fla. with my songwriting partner Justin Tranter. As we were driving away, we heard the news about the Pulse nightclub. I still remember Justin’s face, frantic and frozen. He was so torn and I was torn for him. I think that was the first time I fully became aware how targeted the LGBTQ community was. Justin had started working very closely with GLAAD and told them he wanted to figure out any sort way to help raise funds for the many innocent lives lost. He had an idea to get a bunch artists to do a cover a song, but when he was having trouble clearing the song he wanted, we both just looked at each other and said, “What are we doing?! let’s just write our own!” We ended up writing a song called “Hands” which went from just a couple artists getting involved to many. It was absolutely amazing seeing so many people come together. We wanted everyone to know that we see you, we care about you, we are there for you and we support you. All funds went to various different charities and to the families that were impacted first-hand by the Pulse nightclub shooting.
This was an important time for me. It really opened my eyes to the fact that some parts society still deem some love as immoral when really, finding love, even at all, should be recognized as beautiful. I truly believe that you should be able to love whoever and be whoever you want. It’s unfortunate that there is still so much resistance from people that don’t think being free to do so is appropriate. I want you to know that you have an ally in me always. And an ally in so many. I love the LGBTQ community not only for your positive, bright, beautiful energy, but because all you have had to overcome and endure, and still, you retain that colorful energy. You stand for strength and resilience and you make me want to stand stronger and be confident. We need more light and love in this world and you, my beauties, are the epitome those words.