In an impassioned speech, Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds spoke directly to LGBTQ youth at the LoveLoud Festival Sunday night at the Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Reynolds founded the festival, powered by AT&T, which supports LGBTQ youth-oriented charities.
I’ve previously written about Reynold’s work with the LoveLoud Festival here.
After the band’s first song, “Radioactive,” Reynolds addressed the LGBTQ youth in the audience:
“I wish, I wish, I wish you could understand. I wish you could see how much we care about you; how much we support you; how much we stand with you.
“I hope that tonight and today you know – you know – that your sexuality is pure, and it’s true and it’s clean. I hope that you know that you are needed.
“I don’t want to hear any more stories of youth taking their lives in Utah. We must change our culture. We must change the way we see each other.”
And before launching into their final song, “Believer,” Reynolds reached out one more time to young people.
“We’ve got one last song for you. We love you. We love you. To our LGBTQ youth, stay with us every day. We need you, we love you, we accept you. Your love is valid, it’s pure, it’s true, it’s beautiful. We stand with you.
“LoveLoud will be here. We’re just going to stay here. I don’t know where we’re going from here but we just keep going. Thank you for raising over a million dollars tonight. Peace, love, equality. We’ll see you again soon.”
Reynolds, a straight Mormon, is the subject of the new documentary Believer which chronicles Reynolds journey as an LGBTQ ally trying to change the way the LDS church treats its LGBTQ members.
The funds raised by the event go directly to LGBTQ charities like the Trevor Project, the Tegan and Sara Foundation and Encircle.
The music festival also featured appearances from Neon Trees’ Tyler Glenn, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Grace VanderWaal, Zedd, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, Cameron Esposito, Vagabon and A.W.
Watch the full Imagine Dragons set below.