Imagine Dragons Use Their BBMAs Top Rock Artist Speech to Address the Harms of Conversion Therapy
Though some fans were mad that Imagine Dragons beat out the legendary Queen to take home the Billboard Music Award for Top Rock Artist, no one could be mad at how the band decided to use their time on stage. Instead of giving a conventional acceptance speech thanking their team, fans, etc., the Las Vegas natives decided to use their platform to address the harms of conversion therapy.
“I just want to take this moment to say there are still 34 states that have no laws banning conversion therapy. Thirty-four," singer and outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community Dan Reynolds began his speech. "And on top of that, 58% of our LGBTQ population live in those states. This can change, but it’s going to take all of us talking to our state legislation pushing forward laws to protect our LGBTQ youth."
"Lastly, I just want to say we have seen with conversion therapy that our LGBTQ youth have double the rate of depression, triple the rate of suicide after conversion therapy," he continued. "It’s not working; it needs to change.”
Reynolds spearheaded the LoveLoud Foundation, which champions LGBTQ youth and puts on an annual festival to help raise money for at-risk youth.
Imagine Dragons are up for five more BBMAs. Keep track of the winners here, and check out some of our favorite reactions to Reynolds' speech below.