Singer LeAnn Rimes spoke of her gay
uncle who died of AIDS in accepting an award for her LGBT advocacy.
Rimes was honored on Saturday with the
Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Ally for Equality Award at the group's
Nashville Equality Dinner.
Rimes held back tears as she talked
about identifying with the LGBT community.
“I get the question, 'Why are you so
connected to the LGBTQ community?' I can trace it back to my
childhood for a couple of reasons. I was diagnosed with severe
psoriasis when I was just two years old. I grew up always feeling
very different and in need of hiding most of my body, so no one would
think they were going to catch this disease if they were to interact
with me,” Rimes explained.
“Once you start hiding a part of you,
you hide all of you. And I know you guys know that all too well,”
she said to applause.
Rimes added that her uncle William
passed away from AIDS when she was eleven.
“Even at that age, I was aware of the
judgment that was being thrown his way. I witnessed those who loved
him treat his being gay as if it was a disease. What I remember of
him was his bright spirit that lit up the world wherever he went. He
was amazing. He was a beautiful soul,” Rimes