They took risks, defied expectations, spoke out, redefined cool and made us proud to call them members and allies of our community.
Why is P!nk topping this year’s list of People We Love? Well, she’s spent her entire career resisting the world’s expectations. When the music industry asked her to be just another slick pop princess, she responded with her own unique punk cool — unafraid to be political, boundary pushing and even gravity defying. She’s been an outspoken supporter of the LGBTQ community in song (memorably asking what President George W. Bush would do if one of his daughters turned out to be gay in the lyrics of “Dear Mr. President”) and the imagery of her videos (“Raise Your Glass” features both a pair of grooms kissing at their wedding and P!nk in bed with a nun). When she accepted the 2010 Ally for Equality Award from the HRC, she introduced herself saying “I’m Alicia. I’m a Virgo. I’m 31. I’m gay.” She explained she said so not because she was coming out, but because she hoped to live in a world where being gay is met with the same “boring response” of someone announcing their astrological sign.
This year, not only did she release a huge hit album, Beautiful Trauma, she also accepted the Video Vanguard Award at the MTV VMAs where, after showing up with her daughter in matching menswear looks, she delivered the mother of all acceptance speeches: “I was driving my daughter to school and she said to me, out of the blue, ‘Mama?’ I said, ‘Yes, baby?’ She said, ‘I’m the ugliest girl I know.’ And I said, ‘Huh?’ And she was like, ‘Yeah, I look like a boy with long hair.’ And my brain went to, ‘Oh my god, you’re six. Why? Where is this coming from? … I went home and I made a Powerpoint presentation for her. And in that presentation were androgynous rockstars and artists that live their truth, are probably made fun of every day of their life and carry on, wave their flag and inspire the rest of us. And these are artists like Michael Jackson and David Bowie and Freddie Mercury and Annie Lennox and Prince and Janis Joplin and George Michael, Elton John … Then I said, ‘You know, I really want to know why you feel this way about yourself.’ And she said, ‘I look like a boy,’ and I said, ‘What do you think I look like?’ And she said, ‘You’re beautiful.’ And I was like, ‘Thanks. But when people make fun of me, that’s what they use. They say I look like a boy, or I’m too masculine or I have too many opinions; my body is too strong.’ And I said to her, ‘Do you see me growing my hair?’ She said, ‘No, Mama.’ I said, ‘Do you see me changing my body?’ ‘No, Mama.’ ‘Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world?’ ‘No, Mama.’ ‘Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?’ ‘Yes, Mama.’ ‘Okay! So, baby girl, we don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”Thanks for helping us all see the beauty, P!nk. Rock on.
The Makers of One Day at a Time
Kathy Tu & Tobin Low
Last modified: October 22, 2018