Nick Jonas was one of the thousands to pay his respects to the Orlando, Florida shooting victims at a vigil in NYC on Monday, June 13. The singer opened up about attending and speaking at the tribute during a radio interview with Elvis Duran.
"I am so humbled, and I think more than anything I just want to speak from the heart and say that I woke up yesterday to the news and like all of you, my heart broke," Jonas, 23, said on Tuesday.
"I'm humbled and honored last night to have been able to be part of it in any way, and all I can say is I do intend on doing all I can to see a change and I’m proud to be an American. We have a responsibility to speak up about things we’re passionate about, regardless of our platform, how many followers we have," he continued. "I cannot imagine the pain that the families of the victims feel and I humbly say that I’m here to support in any way that I can, and I’m so, so sorry for them."
The vigil was held at the historic Stonewall Inn, a bar that helped launch the gay civil rights movement in 1969. Supporters flooded the streets and held rainbow flags in solidarity with the LGBT community.
Jonas spoke about his upbringing and religion during his speech. "My father, a minister from New Jersey, shaped my view that love is love, that we are all equal," he said on Monday. "That no matter who you are, or where you're from, or where you're going in life, you have the right to love and be loved. So yesterday, thinking about the families of the victims and the lives lost, I just thought that could be my friend. That could be my people." (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt actor Tituss Burgess also spoke out.)
Some weren't too happy that Jonas was one of the speakers, however. (Jonas was already in the Big Apple promoting his new album, Last Year Was Complicated, at the time.) Some were upset that the platform was given to a straight man instead of someone from the LGBT community.
"Like the guy, but Nick Jonas taking the stage at Stonewall in between album promo events to address LGBT community seems icky. Let us speak," one commenter tweeted. A second added: "when will actual lgbtq people get to speak and have their voices prioritized like nick jonas should not be on stage right now."
As previously reported, 29-year-old gunman Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people and injured 53 others at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub, on Sunday. He reportedly called 911 and pledged his allegiance to ISIS before the attack and was later killed. The tragedy has sparked many more tributes worldwide.