Music industry moguls Beyoncé and Jay-Z took a significant stand for acceptance and support for the LGBTQIA people of color as they graciously accepted GLAAD Media’s Vanguard Award last night (March 28th) in Los Angeles.
The music icons stepped out for the 30th GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills where they were honored with the vanguard award and gave an emotional speech. GLAAD is a media monitoring organization that pushes for acceptance and inclusiveness in which they present the award to LGBTQ allies who promote equal rights for the community.
As per usual, the power couple cane dress to impress. Jay was dappered up in a light pink tuxedo jacket and shirt, while Beyoncé opted for a black tuxedo wrap dress.
Honored for their outstanding contributions to the LGBTQ community, the couple offered touching acceptance speeches, reciting very personal experiences. When presented with the award The Carter’s dropped gems and a few words of encouragement during their emotional speech. In Beyoncé’s acceptance speech, she dedicated the award to her late uncle, who she revealed had died from complications related to HIV.
“We’re here to promote love for every human being, and change starts with supporting the people closest to you,” she began. “So let’s tell them they are loved, let’s remind them they are beautiful, let’s speak out and protect them, and parents — let’s love our kids in our truest form.”
“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. 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 singer continued, visibly emotional as JAY-Z put his hand lovingly on her back. As she’s almost brought to tears, the songstress continues.
“I’m hopeful that his struggle served to open pathways for other young people to live more freely. LGBTQI rights are human rights.”
Going further, the Lemonade singer was met with laughter and much applause after she wrapped up her acceptance speech with, “Who you make love to and take that a** to Red Lobster is your human right,” referencing a lyric from her single “Formation.”
In turn, Jay-Z dedicated the award to his mother. Last year, the rapper received the GLAAD Special Recognition Award for his 4:44 track and video, “Smile,” which featured his mother Gloria Carter, who recently came out as a lesbian.
“I want to honor my mother, who received the award last year, 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.”
Jay and Bey follow in the footsteps of past Vanguard honorees including Cher, Janet Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Kerri Washington, Whoopi Goldberg and Antonio Banderas. The Carters have always been activists for the LGBTQIA community, Beyoncé’s outspoken support for the nationwide legalization of gay marriage, she hired members of the LGBTQ community for her music videos, and her concert dedicated to survivors of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting. GLAAD also cited JAY-Z for his support for gay marriage, as well as his incorporation of work from LGBTQ figures like James Baldwin into his own art.
Take a look at their acceptance speech below.
Beyoncé celebrated their big moment with a post shared to Instagram.