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Justin Timberlake Gives Speech to LGBTQ+ Youth

At the iHeart Music Awards, Justin Timberlake took a moment to give an inspiring speech to America’s LGBTQ+ youth.

Recording artist Taylor Swift (L) winner of the Best Tour award and Justin Timberlake onstage during the iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Forum on April 3, 2016 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for iHeartRadio / Turner)

While tensions in the political climate are running high, awards season has given celebrities the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to comment on issues affecting the nation. While some celebrities are praised for their efforts, others have come under fire for talking about issues that do not directly affect them.

In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Meryl Streep accepts Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Meryl Streep accepts Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Meryl Streep stole the show at the Golden Globes with her pointed speech – in which she did not mention Trump’s name – about role models perpetuating bullying. At the Grammys, A Tribe Called Quest joined forces with Anderson .Paak (and eventually Consequence and Busta Rhymes) to call out President Trump for the Muslim Ban. The Oscars also saw a fair amount of protest, as Iranian director Asghar Farhadi chose to boycott the Academy Awards, despite the fact that he won the award for Best Foreign Language Film for The Salesman.

It seems this trend is nowhere near its end, as Justin Timberlake took the stage at the iHeart Music Awards to give a speech that addressed the LGBTQ+ youth of the country. On Sunday, March 5th, he took home the award for Song of the Year for “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” a song he wrote for the animated movie Trolls. When accepting the award, Timberlake said,

“I wrote this song because I wanted it to be about inclusion, about being together. I guess I want to take this opportunity and speak to young people right now ‘cause there’s a lot of you looking at me.”

(T)Roll call…. #DreamWorksTrolls #Premiere

A post shared by Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake) on

He referenced his own personal experience as an outsider growing up to connect with the audience:

“If you are black or you are brown or you are gay or you are lesbian or you are trans, or maybe you’re just a sissy singing boy from Tennessee, anyone that is treating you unkindly ― it’s only because they are afraid, or they have been taught to be afraid of how important you are.”

Perhaps one of the most notable lines from his speech came when he said, “being different means you’re making a difference.”

performs onstage during the iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Forum on April 3, 2016 in Inglewood, California.
Recording artist Taylor Swift (L) winner of the Best Tour award and Justin Timberlake onstage during the iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Forum on April 3, 2016 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for iHeartRadio / Turner)

Unlike other celebrities who have chosen to stay silent on political issues, like Taylor Swift, Timberlake has proven to be very active in voicing his opinions regarding politics. Ironically, while honoring Swift at last year’s iHeart Music Awards, he took the opportunity to take a dig at Trump and at the wall, saying “some people are out here to build walls. We ain’t naming no names. Taylor chooses to knock down walls and invite everyone to be on her #Squad.” It was no mystery who Timberlake was voting for in the election, as he and his wife Jessica Biel even hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton.

Watch the full video of him accepting his award below:

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