After speaking at a vigil honoring the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting held outside of the Stonewall Inn in New York City Monday night, Nick Jonas was scrutinized for taking the focus away from the queer lives, many who were people of color, that the event was created to hold space for.
“This is not a time for straight allies to take up space — especially if you’re an ally who just dropped an album three days ago,” read an op-ed on HuffPo. The sentiment across social media from those in attendance echoed this viewpoint.
In a recent appearance on Andy Cohen‘s Watch What Happens Live, Jonas revealed that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo personally invited him to lend his voice to the event, refuting the idea that his attendance was somehow connected to seeking publicity for his album.
Here’s what Nick said:
“I think at the core, this is a humungous tragedy that affected so many lives and my heart was broken for the victims and their families. So I looked at my team and said ’Listen, I’m in town, I’d love to lend my voice in any way I can and be a part of it in any way possible.’
And so Governor Cuomo asked me to speak…I didn’t prepare anything I just got up and spoke from the heart.
I was surrounded by the LGBT community at an early age and really built a lot of great friendships. My father said right away to me, ’Love it love, we’re all equal, we deserve love, and to be loved by who we want to be loved by.’ It shaped my view and so I’ve tried to be an ally and do what I can to raise my voice in moments when there is tragedy that strikes, not only for the LGBT community but also for America.”
He never addressed the criticism directly, but you can tell he’s eager to let everyone know he was coming from a place of good intentions.
We don’t see any reason to believe otherwise.