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Watch: Christina Aguilera Takes on 'Don't Say Gay' at Pride Concert

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Sunday August 14, 2022
Originally published on August 8, 2022

Christina Aguilera performs at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year gala honoring Ruben Blades in Las Vegas on Nov. 17, 2021
Christina Aguilera performs at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year gala honoring Ruben Blades in Las Vegas on Nov. 17, 2021  (Source:AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

Hitmaker Christina Aguilera invited her LA Pride audience to say gay —and they did, as her rousing set included a montage raking the anti-LGBTQ+ Florida law, USA Today reports.

"More than 23,000 people flocked to Los Angeles State Historic Park on Saturday [August 6] for LA Pride in the Park, an all-day concert and entertainment event that saw Aguilera headline a lineup that included Rebecca Black, Michaela Jaé and more performers," the news outlet recounted.

But after playing a few of her best-known and most popular songs, including "high-energy, old-school numbers like 'Dirrty' and 'Fighter,' Aguilera left the stage mid-set," the article continued, and a montage started up that critiqued the Florida law, which criminalizes classroom discussion of LGBTQ+ topics and encourages parents to sue schools.

Backup dancers displayed signs inviting the crowd to "Say Gay," and the audience obliged, the article said, while more relevant words flashed on the screen over the stage —" 'equality,' 'identity,' 'peace,' 'love,' 'unity' and 'freedom' " among them, the newspaper noted.

Daniel Green, a correspondent for UK newspaper The Argus reported on the set, recounting how even before Aguilera's set commenced "a montage of various lesbian and gay couples kissing" flashed on the screen.

Green, who was among the crowd, detailed the response of one person standing next to him: "It's so gay I could die!"

When Aguilera's set resumed, she performed a duet of "Lady Marmalade" with Mya, and Paris Hilton also joined her onstage "to perform a DJ set," USA Today detailed. The set included "Toxic" and "Stars Are Blind."

"But the most stunning spectacle came from Aguilera's closer: her ballad 'Beautiful,' " USA Today went on to say.

"The singer appeared onstage donning a flowing cape resembling the Pride flag. The cape was so large her backup dancers had to hold it up for her."

The star recording artist thanked for Pride audience from the stage, saying, "I am so humbled by your love and your support over the last 20-plus years," the article added. ""I am so happy to always give back to you and give a voice, or try to, to anybody that feels like they're suppressed, that feels like an outcast."

Aguilera went on to add: "We represent freedom — freedom of expression, owning who you are, fearlessness and also fantasy."

But that wasn't Aguilera's last word on the subject.

"In a dazzling finale, several large inflatable balls were released into the crowd, with 'Gay' and 'You are beautiful' printed on them," Green recounted.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.