Last night (Mar. 29), Beyonce and Jay-Z were honored with the Vanguard Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards.
Beyonce gave a passionate speech after accepting her award for LGBTQ advocacy.
“To choose who you love is your human right. How you identify and see yourself is your human right. Who you make love to and take that a** to Red Lobster is your human right,” Beyonce said as the room erupted with screams and claps. “… And Jay, I’m so proud of you for making incredible strides towards changing stigmas in the hip-hop community. It’s a privilege to watch you take those steps and to stand right next to you. I love you, and we’re super grateful and honored. Thank y’all.”
During Beyonce’s acceptance speech, she also dedicated it to her late uncle, who was gay and passed away due to a battle with HIV.
“I want to dedicate this award to my uncle Johnny, the most fabulous gay man I have ever known, who helped raise me and my sister,” she shared. “He lived his truth and he was brave and unapologetic at a time when this country wasn’t as accepting.”
“Witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever lived,” the 37-year-old singer continued, visibly emotional as JAY-Z put his hand on her back. “I’m hopeful that his struggle served to open pathways for other young people to live more freely. LGBTQI rights are human rights.”
Jay-Z dedicated the award to his mother, who recently came out as a lesbian.
“I want to honor my mother, who received the award last year,” he said. “I get to follow in her footsteps of spreading love and acceptance and her beautiful speech at the end of the song ‘Smile’ and for her allowing me to tell her story.”
Past Vanguard honorees are Janet Jackson, Cher, Elizabeth Taylor, and Antonio Banderas.
GLAAD is the largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization in the world. Every year, the organization holds its award ceremony to honor those who advocate for the LGBTQ community, and or center inclusiveness in their media and art.
Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan