Dove Cameron dedicates MTV VMAs win to queer kids in heartwarming speech: ‘Thank you’

Dove Cameron holds up an MTV VMAs Moon Man award on stage

Dove Cameron has dedicated her first MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) win to LGBTQ+ youth who supported her “overtly queer” music. 

Cameron was “so floored” and “so moved” to take home the award for best new artist at the 2022 MTV VMAs on Sunday (28 August), beating out Eurovision winner Måneskin and k-pop group Seventeen. 

The 26-year-old dedicated her award to “all of the queer kids out there” who don’t feel like they can “inhabit the fullness of who they are”. 

“I want to dedicate this to all the queer kids out there who don’t feel that they can take up space and inhabit the fullness of who they are,” Cameron said. 

She continued: “Thank you for getting an overtly queer song onto mainstream radio. 

“Thank you for supporting me as the artist I am, and I hope you can give others the same privilege as myself.”

Dove Cameron performed a brilliantly queer medley of her hit singles “Boyfriend” and “Breakfast” during the MTV VMAs pre-show, wearing a gorgeous black tuxedo as her back-up dancers performed in same-gender duos behind her. 

At the very end, the performers pulled down their jackets to reveal to the MTV audience a powerful message emblazoned on the back of their shirts: “Your voice is your power. Vote.”

Her 2022 breakout single “Boyfriend” focused its lyrical themes on Cameron attempting to romance a woman away from her male significant other. The song has been hailed as a queer anthem and gained mass popularity on TikTok

Cameron released her latest single “Breakfast” in August, alongside a politically-charged music video created in response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade, which guaranteed abortion rights in the US.

Dove Cameron told Today she was “really disturbed”, “really upset” and “super disillusioned” when she learned the court had struck down abortion rights. 

Dove Cameron performs on stage at the MTV VMAs with backup dancers

Dove Cameron’s MTV Video Music Awards performance included a call for young people to go out and vote. (Theo Wargo/Getty for MTV/Paramount Global)

She described feeling uncomfortable promoting the song following the news and said it was “inorganic” to release her initial music video. Cameron wanted to make a music video for “Breakfast” that “felt like it was commenting on the times”. 

“I wanted to make a video that at least made people feel emotionally involved in the issue because I think it’s so easy to get disillusioned and feel disempowered with how much negative information … it feels like we’re constantly losing,” she said. 

Cameron explained the current video tries to “elicit empathy for these situations that are not from the 1960s” and not “antiquated”. 

“It’s unfair for one gender to carry the entirety of the weight of the reproductive conversation,” she added.

She hoped young people watching her video and experiencing the rollback on reproductive rights in the US “feel closer to democracy” and go out to vote during their local elections.