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Pink Praises Gender Non-Conforming Trailblazers in VMAs Acceptance Speech

Pink, VMA, VMA 2017, Ellen DeGeneres
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

“We take the gravel in the shell and we make a pearl.” 

Though last night's VMA's were relatively sedate compared to years past without anything comparable to "Ima let you finish," or "Miley, what's good?" the show still had its high points.

Amid the performances and memeable moments came a particularly empowering speech from Pink, when she accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from Ellen DeGeneres. Beginning with a story where her daughter recently worried that she was "the ugliest girl I know," Pink said she rose above her initial mama bear instincts to beat up a six-year-old and instead wanted to enlighten and empower her child.

Related | Trans Military Members Walk The VMAs Red Carpet With GLAAD President

Instead of sitting her daughter down for a simple talk, Pink went the multimedia route, crafting a PowerPoint presentation of "androgynous rock stars" including Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Price, Janis Joplin, George Michal, and Elton John. "When people make fun of me that's what they use," she said, "That I look like a boy, or I'm too masculine, or I have too many opinions, or my body is too strong."

After directly relating to the worries of her daughter she went reinforced her: "Do you see me growing my hair? Do you see me changing my body? Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world?" After her daughter conceded "no" to all these points Pink asked, "do you see me selling out arenas all over the world? So, baby girl, we don't change. We take the gravel in the shell and we make a pearl, and we help other people to change so that they can see more kinds of beauty." Watch the speech below and cement your hope in future generations.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Dennis Hinzmann