Pop diva Christina Aguilera is in the middle of her first tour in over a decade in support of her latest album, Liberation. Besides reminding concertgoers her voice can still blow the roof off any venue she books—and that she can still get dirrty in a pair of assless chaps—the “Beautiful” singer is also using her pop star platform to promote positive LGBTQ visibility.
The six-time Grammy winner, and RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 guest judge, is no stranger to showing up for the LGBTQ community. Her video for 2002’s “Beautiful” earned her a GLAAD Media Award for being inclusive of gay individuals. In a love letter to the LGBTQ community for Billboard Pride, Aguilera said it’s her LGBTQ fans who inspire her.
“The struggles [the LGBTQ community] faces daily on an individual level and on a broader political and cultural level are unimaginable, yet you keep fighting, you keep moving forward trailblazing and beating all odds with love always in your hearts,” she wrote. “As my career moved forward and I began making music that spoke to my pain and struggles, there were fans that came out to me with stories that literally lifted me up. Those were all my LGBTQ fans that through thick and thin stand with me daily. My fighters, my heroes, the reason I love what I do.”
From surprise engagements to special guests, each night of Aguilera’s “Liberation” tour, so far, has included positive queer visibility. Here are five of our favorite moments.
Let There Be LoveKevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation
In the middle of singing Liberation ballad “Unless It’s With You,” Aguilera stops the music and gives the spotlight to one of her fans to surprise their significant other with a marriage proposal on stage. Many of the couples celebrating their special occasion with sold-out arenas have been same-sex. And at her Atlantic City stop, a newly married lesbian couple announced they’re pregnant with twins. #20GayTeen is real.
After the on-stage engagement, the stage turns into a reception for the couples. During this number, Aguilera brings out a special guest to help get the party started. One recent guest was trans model, activist, and past RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Carmen Carrera.
In addition to Carrera, drag stars Alexis Matteo and Lady Bunny have joined Xtina for on-stage moments.
During her Radio City Music Hall shows, half of A Great Big World joined Aguilera to sing their Grammy winner, “Say Something.” Though the duo’s out member Chad King wasn’t present, the performance still served as an opportunity for the band to sing music “to comfort anyone who may need it,” as King told us of the band’s mission in a recent interview.
Ain’t No Other Man
Gender norms have no place in Christina’s world. The boys wear the iconic chaps just like the girls while voguing during “Dirrty.” And the guys pop their fans with the fierceness of a fairy on Fire Island during “Lady Marmalade.”