Selena Gomez has credited her mother with raising her in an "open minded and non-judgemental" environment.
The 24-year-old singer has said her passion and support for the LGBTQ community is largely thanks to the way she was raised by her mother Mandy Teefey, who she says once booked a "beautiful drag queen" for the ‘Bad Liar’ hitmaker’s 16th birthday.
Writing in a letter as part of Billboard magazine’s ‘Love Letters to the LGBTQ Community’ series in honour Gay Pride Month, Selena said: "I remember as a young child going to brunch on Sundays with my mom and her group of friends. I had no idea they were all gay as I didn’t even comprehend what that meant at the time. All I knew is that I loved being surrounded by these kind, fun and loving friends my mother had around her. I definitely give credit to her for raising me in an environment that was incredibly open-minded and non-judgmental. She also surprised me at my 16th birthday party with a performance by the most beautiful drag queen singing my favourite song. I don’t think most 16 year olds can say that!"
The ‘Heart Wants What It Wants’ singer – who famously donated the proceeds from her 2016 North Carolina concert to a local charity group to help combat the state’s controversial anti-LGBTQ "bathroom bill" – also praises Madonna’s documentary ‘Truth or Dare’ for its "groundbreaking" portrayal of the gay rights movement.
Selena continued: "My co-writer Justin Tranter couldn’t believe I had never seen the Madonna documentary ‘Truth or Dare’ and so while we were in Mexico he sat me down to watch it with him. I loved it and was especially struck by how groundbreaking it was for the gay rights movement and how far LGBTQ rights have come in my lifetime. There is still a significant amount of work to do and I look forward to the day when a person is never judged, discriminated or feared for their sexuality."
Selena is just one of over 70 musicians and LGBTQ activists who have contributed to Billboard’s series, with Britney Spears, Sia, Elton John, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, and Kelly Clarkson all taking part in the event.