The pop star took part in the NYC Pride Parade 2013 kick-off ceremony on June 28. She sang the National Anthem and gave a heartfelt speech to those in attendance about what the LGBT community means to her.
“It’s my LGBT friends and fans who always said to me, ‘I knew Lady Gaga when,'” the singer says. “Well, look who the star is now. Now I get to say that I knew you when. When you suffered, when you felt unequal, when you felt there was nothing to look forward to.”
Gaga also opens up about how the LGBT community helped her during her find peace with herself.
“I’ve always had … this strange relationship with God. I didn’t know if God was real or what God meant,” she tells the gathered crowd. “I certainly didn’t know what he meant to America and it was because I felt so damaged, so destroyed, so degraded by those kids at school, by my own psychological struggles. My body. The men in the business who only wanted me for sex, money, as I tried to keep a famous face and carry on.”
Gaga continues, “But then it was you that saved me. 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. You were sent to me like angels to protect me and to save me. It was you who understood my need to hide behind the wigs, the glasses, the glamour, the clothing … I get to see God every day when I’m with you.”
Watch the Mother Monster perform her slightly altered version of the National Anthem below: