It might not be 20GayTeen anymore, but Hayley Kiyoko is still on top. As she took the virtual stage at Pride Live’s Stonewall Day to perform her gauzy take on The Killers’s “Mr. Brightside” and “Girls Like Girls,” the artist known to her fans as Lesbian Jesus made sure to shout out her peers in the LBGTQ+ community as she stood in front of a rainbow.
“I’m so proud of my LGBTQIA+ community, especially on Stonewall Day,” she said. “We can see the energy and rebellion of 1969 still alive to this day, and it has to be because it is our job for our generation to continue the fight and to finally get lasting safety and equality for our community.”
Her dreamy vocals for both tunes were backed up — via the magic of virtual technology — by keyboardist Nikki, guitarist Larry (jamming on a pink one, naturally), and drummer Valerie, who displayed a quote from Stonewall activist Marsha P. Johnson behind her kit. “No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us!” it read.
Kiyoko kicked off this year by dropping a nostalgic video for the summer-burning “She” that sounds perfect for long drives with the windows down. This week, she paired up with Valerie to recount Val’s journey into music in honor of Pride Month. “No matter where you are and where you come from, living your truth is the hardest thing to do,” she said in the video. “I love being onstage, singing ‘Girls Like Girls,’ looking to you onstage. We point at each other, and I’m like, ‘We love girls!’
Indeed, Kiyoko’s massive “Girls Like Girls,” with its bold yet understated lyrics (“Girls like girls like boys do / Nothing new”) has become an anthem, even prompting one fan to comment on Kiyoko’s Instagram that it was the reason she came out: “thanks for showing me that i’m normal and that there’s nothing wrong with loving women. happy pride!!” It makes sense that she’d roll out it for Stonewall Day, and even via socially distanced set, its lyrical power was palpable. “I miss you all and I love you all!” she cried out at the climax of the song.
Stonewall Day also features scheduled appearances from Taylor Swift, Barack Obama, and more. Watch Kiyoko’s performance, and find out more about Stonewall Day — a fundraiser for LGBTQ+ advocacy groups — and how to contribute right here. Stream the entire show via Logo’s YouTube and Facebook pages.