Imagine Dragons’ lead singer sends LGBT youth ‘love’ and ‘peace’ in emotional speech
Dan Reynolds, lead singer of Imagine Dragons, has made an impassioned speech about equality, in which he sent a message of “love” and “peace” to LGBT+ youth.
The singer of the pop rock band made the comments during a headline set at the Love Loud Festival on Saturday night (July 28) in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Proceeds from the festival go to support LGBT+ youth charities, including The Trevor Project, the Tegan and Sara Foundation, and Encircle.
Reynolds paused about midway through the performance, saying: “I was just informed that we have officially raised our goal tonight of over $1 million.
“You did this by coming tonight from all walks of life [and] all sides.”
Reynolds went on to say: “I hope that tonight and today, you know, you know, that your sexuality is pure. And it’s true. And it’s clean. I hope that you know, you are needed. We need you. I don’t want to hear any more stories of youth taking their lives in Utah. We must change our culture. We must change the way we see each other.”
Later on, he said: “To our LGBTQ youth, stay with us every day. We need you, we love you [and] we accept you. Your love is valid, it’s pure, it’s true [and] it’s beautiful.
“We stand with you – Love Loud will be here. Peace, love, equality. We’ll see you again soon.”
The festival also saw a speech by Apple CEO Tim Cook and performances by artists including Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, Zedd and Grace Vanderwaal.
Watch Imagine Dragons’ set below (from 6:25:00 onwards):
In January, Reynolds starred in Mormon LGBT film to end the persecution of gay people in the religion.
Dan Reynolds, who is a Mormon himself, featured in the Sundance Festival documentary Believer, which details his journey as an LGBT youth advocate for Mormons.
Intending to put a “face to the faceless and a voice to the voiceless,” Reynolds said he hoped that the film will persuade leaders of the religion to recognise their “shaming” approach towards LGBT Mormons.
“These kids are being told their most innate sense of being is sinful,” said Reynolds to Washington Post.
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“Shaming is so destructive.”
The film received a standing ovation at its premiere at the festival.
“This isn’t just pointing a finger at Mormonism, it’s pointing a finger at all of us,” Reynolds said.
“It’s pointing a finger at myself, who has been a silent nobody for years.”
The religion staunchly opposes gay marriage and homosexual activity, in spite of the fact that it advocates an empathetic stance toward LGBT people and end bullying. There are about 16 million Mormons worldwide.