Two LGBT musical icons had a few choice words for the current anti-LGBT environment in Florida at SunFest, the annual music festival held in West Palm Beach. Both performers took to the stage Saturday.
Etheridge, who performed first, told the crowd not to focus on hate.
“As we move forward, let us understand that there are people that are afraid and their fear comes out in all kinds of different ways, and sometimes they get elected to office and bring that fear in with them,” the “Come to My Window” singer said. “I've been out for almost 30 years now. I've seen the world change in amazing ways. I've seen children grow into beautiful human adults who have gay parents. I've seen all kinds of things — so don't spend your time on hate. Keep looking forward because the beauty is in that diversity that awaits us in the future.”
Etheridge, 60, publicly came out in 1993.
Meanwhile Adam Lambert, who rose to fame during the eighth season of “American Idol” in 2009, told the crowd to focus on love.
“The way that I live my life is through love and celebration and acceptance. And that’s the only way we’re going to fight fear and ignorance in this world,” he said. “We got to accept each other. We have to try to understand each other.”
Nowadays Lambert, 40, regularly performs with Queen.
Lambert also spoke about the “Don’t Say Gay” bill that Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed into law asking the crowd what it could mean to LGBT youth.
“Imagine me as a kindergartener. Imagine me not understanding the feelings I was feeling, as I was growing up. Not understanding that those feelings were OK. If I had had teachers that could just acknowledge the reality of the world,” he said, as the audience erupted into applause. “Some children have two mommies, and some children have two daddies, and some children have a mommy and a daddy, and some just to have a mommy or just a daddy. If a teacher couldn't just explain these things, maybe that would have saved me all of that negative shame and confusion and fear and sadness that I found when I was a child and I'm not alone. Queer kids have it hard enough.”