Lizzo gives empowering, trans-inclusive People’s Choice speech honouring women’s rights activists

Lizzo surrounded by activists, (NBC)

Lizzo sent a powerful message on stage on Wednesday (8 December) at the People’s Choice Award, where she highlighted the work of 17 women’s rights activists.

The singer won two awards, including Song of the Year for “About Damn Time”, and it was during this acceptance speech she was joined on stage by the inspiring activists – which included a trans woman.

Lizzo told the audience she had always wanted to use her fame to “amplify marginalised voices”.

Her mother, Shari Johnson-Jefferson presented the award to her, saying: “When I think of Lizzo, the word ‘champion’ comes to mind.

“She’s a champion of others, she builds you up and she’s always in your corner.

“She has shown us all that we don’t have to conform to anyone’s standards in order to be happy, to be creative and to feel worthy.”

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After accepting the award, Lizzo picked up the same thread, adding: “To be an icon is not about how long you’ve had your platform.

“Being an icon is what you do with that platform. And ever since beginning my career I’ve used my platform to amplify marginalised voices.”

She went on to introduce all 17 activists onto stage to huge applause and standing ovation, telling the crowd to “give them their flowers.”

Lizzo named and explained the role of each person on stage. One of the activists was Jayla Rose Sullivan, a trans woman and dancer making space for trans and non-binary performers in the performance industry.

Sullivan is an Emmy winner and part of Lizzo’s dance crew, after auditioning to be a dancer on Lizzo’s reality show Watch Out For The Big Girls.

She also platformed Chandi Moore, a community health educator in Los Angeles giving trans and gender non-conforming youth “the tools they need to live their lives and their authentic selves.”

The other activists ranged from Indigenous rights activists to abortion rights, to supporting the homeless across of range of backgrounds and experiences.

There has been huge support for Lizzo and the message her appearance sent – including from Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks.

In a heartfelt social media message Nicks wrote her presentation was “so beautiful and so needed” and it was right for Lizzo to “get the award for being a great woman of our time.”

“I was so impressed,” she continued, “and so touched that you put that together and pulled it off.

“It was stunning and everyone heard you. You have given all woman soundbites forever – flute player, singer, songwriter, future politician…?”

She signed the letter off, writing: “Your name is in the stars now.”

And if being so utterly praised by the Stevie Nicks wasn’t enough, there was no end to love from viewers for the touching display.

“This is how you use your platform for good!,” one person wrote, “Thank you Lizzo for highlighting these powerful change makers.

“Including activists working to accelerate LGBTQ+ acceptance through their work with trans and non-binary youth.”

While another added: “Lizzo is what winning looks like. Brining a crowd of community changers onto stage was next level awesome.”