Selena Gomez is an advocate for the LGBTQ community, and she credits her mother with helping cultivate her acceptance for everyone. In celebration of Pride Month, Gomez penned an open letter for Billboard, in which the "Bad Liar" singer revealed that it was her mother, Mandy Teefay, who encouraged her to surround herself with good, kind people — regardless of their sexual orientation.
"I remember as a young child going to brunch on Sundays with my mom and her group of friends. I had no idea they were all gay as I didn’t even comprehend what that meant at the time. All I knew is that I loved being surrounded by these kind, fun and loving friends my mother had around her," she wrote in Billboard.
The singer added that her mother, who gave birth to Gomez at 16 and cheered on her career every step of the way, encouraged her daughter not to judge others, and instead appreciate their gifts.
"I definitely give credit to her for raising me in an environment that was incredibly open-minded and non-judgmental," revealed Gomez in her letter. "She also surprised me at my 16th birthday party with a performance by the most beautiful drag queen singing my favorite song. I don’t think most 16 year olds can say that!"
Teefey previously worked as Gomez's manager before the former Disney Channel star decided to part ways with her parents (her stepfather, Brian, also represented Gomez) in order to seek more professional representation. Still, these two are as tight as ever — and it's clear that Gomez gets some of her penchant for activism from her mother. In addition to speaking out about mental health and the falsehood of social media, Gomez previously donated proceeds from a concert in North Carolina to LGBTQ organizations.
Here's hoping that Gomez continues to live with the openness her mother taught her.