Madonna closes WorldPride with powerful tribute to ‘queer nation’
Madonna closed WorldPride in New York with a moving speech in thanks to the LGBT+ community, saying: “We have been on this journey together, and I am so proud and honoured to share this historical evening with you.”
The Queen of Pop ended a month of celebrations with a performance at the festival’s ‘Pride Island’ on Manhattan’s Pier 57.
The highly-anticipated set was almost cancelled due to storm conditions on the waterfront, but the pier reopened a few hours beforehand and the show went on.
In her speech to the crowd, Madonna began by recognising the historic status of the pier, which was a notorious gay cruising ground in the 1970s.
“It’s weird, I know we’re on a pier and this pier has a lot of history. God knows it has a lot of history. Do you feel like you’re crammed on a parking lot right now?” she joked.
She went on to acknowledge the 50-year legacy of the Stonewall riots, which were commemorated throughout the month’s Pride celebrations.
Since I came to New York as a wee little girl, I have always been embraced by queer nation. I always felt like an outsider but you made me feel like an insider.
“So, Fifty years people,” she said. “Fifty years of revolution, fifty years of freedom fighting, fifty years of putting up with discrimination, hatred and indifference, fifty years of blood, sweat and tears, fifty years of not bowing down to fear. That’s what I’m talking about.
“We have been on this journey together, and I am so proud and honoured to share this historical evening with you.
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“You really don’t know. Since I came to New York as a wee little girl, I have always been embraced by queer nation. I always felt like an outsider but you made me feel like an insider. You must know how much I love and appreciate everyone here tonight. All members of the LGBTQ community.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
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Madonna’s four-song set included her latest single “God Control,” which is about the need for gun control in the US. As she finished with the track “I Rise,” also from her latest album, fireworks lit up over the pier.