Christina Aguilera wouldn’t be quite so “dirrty” without the LGBTQ+ community’s words of wisdom.
The pop star took the stage Thursday night at the 2023 GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, where she received the Advocate for Change Award. Presented to singer Madonna and former President Bill Clinton in previous years, the award recognizes a public figure who has “changed the game for LGBTQ people around the world” through their work.
After noting that “most of my lifelong best friends identify as LGBTQ,” Aguilera winked at the lyrics of her 2002 hit, “Dirrty,” while thanking members of the queer community for their resilience and influence.
“So much of who I am and what I do is because of each of you, and the shared experience of having to fight for equality and freedom in some capacity,” she said. “Side by side, we’ve learned and taught each other everything about life, from business to relationships to music, family, partying ― I don’t know who does it better ― and, of course, how to give a good blowjob.”
Watch Aguilera’s 2023 GLAAD Media Awards speech here:
As the crowd erupted in laughter and cheers, she quipped, “I’m just saying, we know how to get dirty.”
After her sassy jokes, Aguilera’s speech then took a more serious turn. The five-time Grammy winner alluded to her childhood experience with domestic violence as a contributing factor to her continued LGBTQ+ allyship.
“When you’ve been a victim of violence, abuse or trauma, it’s incredibly hard and scary to find your voice and fight back,” she said. “Having grown up in a home with domestic violence, it was seeing my mom in a powerless position that first ignited the fire in me to speak up for all of the people whose voices don’t get heard. And it is not easy.”
Aguilera was presented with her award by Michael Anderson, a survivor of last year’s mass shooting at Colorado’s Club Q nightclub. About a month after the attack, the bartender called Aguilera “my personal icon” and quoted her 2002 smash “Beautiful” in an emotional testimony before Congress.
Praising Anderson as the night’s “true hero,” Aguilera said in her speech, “We all need to raise our voices if we want to live in a world that’s free of discrimination, hate and violence.”
Thursday’s ceremony was hosted by actor-comedian Margaret Cho and also featured appearances by Jennifer Coolidge, Ricky Martin and Bad Bunny, who received GLAAD’s Vanguard Award for his LGBTQ+ allyship.
Hulu is set to air a recording of the 2023 GLAAD Media Awards on April 12.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.