ABC via Getty Dove Cameron
Dove Cameron is looking out for the LGBTQ+ community.
While accepting the award for new artist of the year at the 2022 American Music Awards on Sunday, Cameron took a moment to honor the victims of the mass shooting at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado over the weekend that resulted in at least five deaths and 18 injuries.
After thanking fans for their votes and acknowledging how “meaningful” it feels to win the award, the 26-year-old “Boyfriend” singer-songwriter — who identifies as queer — acknowledged her LGBTQ+ fans.
“I want to start by saying that every award that I ever win will always first and foremost be dedicated to the queer community at large,” said the former Disney Channel star. “You guys have carved out such a space for me to be myself and to write music about it and I’ve never felt safer or more loved or more supported and I hope I can give you some semblance of that same feeling in my music.”
Cameron then shifted her attention to the victims of the shooting. “On the heels of the tragedy that happened at Club Q in Colorado Springs, I want to remind everyone how important queer visibility is and how important our community is,” she continued, before asking fans to donate to LGBTQ-focused charities. “And I want to direct your attention to organizations like GLAAD and the Trevor Project for what you can do right now.”
She concluded the speech with words of encouragement for the LGBTQ+ community: “I want to remind you that you are made absolutely right, and you are so loved and so held, and I want to thank you for supporting me, thank you for holding the space. I’m holding it for you, too. Thanks guys.”
Elsewhere during the ceremony, Cameron delivered a performance of her hit single “Boyfriend,” an alt-pop track that sees the musician assure a female friend she could “be a better boyfriend” than the friend’s current partner. Released earlier this year, the song became her first Billboard Hot 100 hit single, peaking at No. 20.
In an August interview with PEOPLE, Cameron spoke about how her coming out journey has contributed to her mental well-being.
“I was so afraid to take up any sort of room before,” she said at the time. “I had a very low opinion of myself and my worth. I didn’t think I was worth listening to. I also had so much internalized shame about being queer that I didn’t even really recognize.”
Listeners will get to learn even more about Cameron’s journey of finding comfort in her identity on her forthcoming debut full-length project.
“The album I’m working on now is all down to finding myself through writing and through expression, and I really owe that to all the people who have been supporting me this last year,” she teased. “I consider myself one of the luckiest people on the planet to be able to find myself in this time where it’s more important than ever to have a voice.”
The 2022 AMAs are airing live Sunday night from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.