Lady Gaga returned to the spotlight this week after spending a few months laying low following her hip surgery and canceled world tour.
In her first public appearance the “Born This Way” singer, 27, joined throngs of fans to celebrate the start of pride weekend. In the wake of this week’s historic Supreme Court rulings in favor of marriage equality, Gaga helped launch New York’s Gay Pride Parade by speaking at a kick-off rally at Pier 26.
The diva, known for her vocal support of the LGBT community, gave a stirring speech about how much the support of her gay fans has meant to her, reports the NY Daily News.
“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,” she said. “Where did I fit in? And I look back on that time and I remember feeling that I was cut from a different mold. ”
“There was a particular crowd who did accept me,” she continued.
“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. You saved me, my friends in the LGBT community, time and time again. And I saw God for the first real time in all of you.”
Gaga also thanked “everyone from the Supreme Court to every legislator and political leader that has ever stood with us.”
She continued that now “we are able to reveal and share our lives, the further we move into the hearts and minds of other Americans.”
“The violence that has taken place towards LGBTs in the past moths is unacceptable here and anywhere,” the singer announced.
“We are not a niche. We are a part, a big giant part of humanity,” Gaga said. “It’s time for us to be mainstream. I demand the rights! To safe streets!”
Gaga then launched into the National Anthem, clutching a rainbow flag. Lady Gaga then went on to sing an a cappella rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
At the end of her rendition, she changed up the lyrics a bit, replacing “star-spangled banner” with “star-spangled flag of pride” and “home of the brave” with “home for the gays.” Not surprisingly, the crowd went wild.
It was her first official appearance since recovering from hip surgery; Lady Gaga wore a black strip over her eyes, sported a black sleeveless dress, and carried a rainbow colored flag in her hand.
She was subsequently forced to undergo surgery and scrap the remaining dates on her ‘Born This Way Ball’ world tour, with reports claiming she could have lost an estimated £16m for cancelling the shows.
Lady Gaga isn’t the only star who spoke out in support of the DOMA ruling, though. Ben Affleck, Demi Lovato and Lena Dunham were just a few of the celebs who hit Twitter to celebrate the strike-down as well, reports E!.
Gaga, who recently topped Forbes’ 2013 list of Most Powerful Musicians, is expected to release her new album ‘ARTPOP’ later this year.