LGBT activist and singer Lady Gaga wowed campaigners in New York City as she opened the weekend’s Pride celebrations with a rendition of the National Anthem and a stirring speech.

“When I was in high school and grade school and younger, I was considered to be an outcast and I just couldn’t find my place,” Gaga said. “[But] there was a particular crowd who did accept me. There was a particular crowd who made room for me at their table, who held me up when I felt I couldn’t, who loved me for exactly who I was. It was you. And to stand here equal to you tonight, it’s been a dream of mine since my very first experiences with the LGBT community.”

She also praised the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and the striking down on Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage in California.

Last week, Cher performed at a fundraiser for New York Pride.

This weekend also saw Prides being held in San Francisco and in London. Pride in London featured artists A*M*E and Class A.