Rapper and record producer Kanye West took a moment during a concert at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night to denounce homophobia and anti-gay hate language.
The nine-time Grammy Award-winner called on his fans to be more open-minded and accepting of those different than themselves.
West said it took time for him to “break out of the mental prisons” of discrimination and encouraged his followers to do the same.
At the end of his Glow in the Dark concert performance, Kanye West spoke out to a screaming crowd about his feelings on homophobia.
“Open your fucking minds. Open your minds. Be accepting of different people and let people be who they are,” West said.
Talking about his own experience with being the subject of gay rumours and stereotypes, West blasted out a sing-song rant against homophobia.
“You know how many people came to me calling me gay cause I wear my jeans the fresh way?
“Or because I said hey, dude, how you gonna say ‘fag’ right in front of a gay dude’s face and act like that’s ok? That shit is disrespectful.”
West related his own history in having to confront the stereotypes and discrimination he has felt in the past.
“Coming from Chicago, where if you saw somebody that was gay you were supposed to stay ten feet away,” West said.
“It took me time to break out of the mental prisons I was in. The stereotypes of the fear of the backlash that I would get if you don’t believe what I believe in, accepting people for who they are.
“[Gay people] they’re very talented and if they do something special in the world and they’re discriminated,” West said.
“I’ve flown across the world y’all, and I’ve come back here to tell you—open your minds and live a happier life.
“Thank y’all for listening to me,” West told the crowd as he wound down his speech.
“I had a few things to get off my chest. I want y’all to handle the rest. New York City, good night.”
Watch a video of the speech below:
© 2008 GayWired.com; All Rights Reserved.