GLAAD announced today that it will honor Beyoncé and Jay-Z with its Vanguard Award at the GLAAD Media Awards on March 28 in Los Angeles. The announcement comes following news that it would honor Madonna with its Advocate for Change Award at its New York media awards on May 4.
GLAAD explained why they’re honoring Beyoncé: ‘Beyoncé has spoken out against laws that would discriminate against LGBTQ people in states including North Carolina and celebrated the passage of marriage equality nationwide, saying that “everyone has the right to love who they love.” She has spoken out loudly for LGBTQ youth and told her followers on social media that “LGBTQ students need to know we support them.” Beyoncé has included LGBTQ people and couples in videos for ‘Formation’ and ‘All Night’ and dedicated her performance of ‘Halo’ to the victims and survivors of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting during “The Formation World Tour.” Ivy Park, her athleisure clothing line, proudly showcased transgender actress Laverne Cox as one of the featured faces in one of the brand’s promos.’
And Jay-Z: ‘JAY-Z received a GLAAD Special Recognition Award last year for his song and music video, “Smile,” featuring his mother Gloria Carter who used the song to come out as a lesbian. The lyrics and video poignantly share the powerful story of Ms. Gloria Carter, who accepted the GLAAD Media Award from journalist Robin Roberts. JAY-Z has featured LGBTQ people in his art including an appearance by LGBTQ leader Janet Mock in the video for ‘Family Feud,’ which opens with a quote from iconic gay writer James Baldwin. JAY-Z also famously supported the passage of marriage equality, noting it was “the right thing to do as a human being.”’
Previous Vanguard Award honorees include Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington, Cher, Janet Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Antonio Banderas, Demi Lovato, Whoopi Goldberg, Eric McCormack, and Britney Spears.
GLAAD added that at the L.A. Awards, Sean Hayes would receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, Ross Mathews will host, and special guests will include the cast of Netflix’s Queer Eye, Allison Janney, Nico Santos, Jameela Jamil, Shangela and Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons.