Lady Gaga on Friday said during her first public appearance since undergoing hip surgery in February that the gay community had “saved me.”

Lady Gaga made her remarks at the Gay Pride Parade's Kick Off Rally in New York City.

“I would like to thank everyone from the Supreme Court to every legislator and political leader that has ever stood with us,” she told the crowd. “I am so fortunate to have been welcomed by all of you into the LGBT community and to this family … Our evolution as LGBT citizens always continues to change and we see that the further we are able to reveal and share our lives, the further we move into the hearts and minds of other Americans.”

“When I was in high school and grade school and younger, I was considered to be an outcast and I just couldn't find my place.”

“There was a particular crowd who did accept me. There was a particular crowd who made room for me at their table, who held me up when I felt I couldn't, who loved me for exactly who I was. It was you.”

Lady Gaga said the gay community had “saved” her from feeling “damaged.”

“You saved me, my friends in the LGBT community time and time again. And I saw God for the first real time in all of you. You were sent to me like angels to protect me and to save me. It was you who understood my need to hide behind the wigs, the glasses, the glamour, the clothing … I get to see God every day when I'm with you.”

Waving a rainbow flag, she performed the Star Spangled Banner. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)