NEW YORK — When Derrek Lutz's family kicked him out of his house for being homosexual, it was Lady Gaga who helped him cope.
"My family told me that I was a freak," said Lutz, 18, from North Cape May, New Jersey. "My whole life was turned upside down, but Gaga made me so comfortable to be myself and dress the way I do, and now I don't care what anyone thinks."
That's why on Thursday night, Lutz joined thousands of other fans in the scorching heat to stand in line outside of Rockefeller Plaza to see Gaga's "Today" show performance early Friday morning (July 9).
For Lutz, like many of the fans who spoke to MTV News, it was an opportunity to see a woman whose music inspired them and, in some cases, deeply affected their lives.
"She makes me so happy to be myself, she makes me love myself," Lutz said.
The free concert was especially significant to fans who couldn't afford to buy tickets to her on-going Monster Ball tour.
"We can't afford real tickets, and we're such big Lady Gaga fans, we had to be here to see her," said Joshua Rivera, 19, from Towaco, New Jersey, who arrived at Rockefeller Plaza two days early so he could be the first person in line.
"I'm literally running on energy," Josh said, adding that he hadn't slept since he got there.
Felicia Giunta, 19, from Long Island, New York, had already seen Gaga at Madison Square Garden earlier in the week, but that didn't stop her from camping out for "Today."
"I look up to her so much," said Felicia, an aspiring dancer. "After I get cut, she's the first one on my iPod, and it inspires me to keep going."
Lutz caught up with MTV after the show and said the overnight wait was well worth it.
"I wanted to cry. It was amazing. It was beautiful," Lutz said after Gaga's rain-drenched performance. "Everyone around me was screaming and I just had my eyes closed. I was just taking it all in."
How long would you wait in line to see Lady Gaga? Talk about it in the comments.