Dressed in a black lace dress, hoop-earrings and tons of unapologetic queer pride, pop artist Hayley Kiyoko jumped up and down as she accepted a Video Music Award and yelled “20-GAY-TEEN” — over and over.
The singer — whose debut album, Expectations, came out in April — received a moon man on Aug. 20 for being the “Push Artist of the Year,” a new category highlighting emerging artists. Kiyoko beat out artists including Noah Cyrus, SZA and Khalid.
“This validates any queer women of color that you can follow your dreams,” Kiyoko said on the pink carpet. She also took the opportunity to shout “VM-Gays!”
Later in the night, Kiyoko, who is openly gay, performed a section of her single, “Curious.” The artist’s songs are affectionately known as “queer pop” and her lyrics use female pronouns and talk about being attracted to women.
Kiyoko was also nominated for Best New Artist, but lost to Cardi B.