This year’s GLAAD Media Awards will recognize Beyoncé and Jay-Z for being longtime allies of supporters of the LGBTQ community, according to a just-released statement from the media advocacy organization.
“Beyoncé and Jay-Z are global icons and passionate defenders of human rights and acceptance for all people,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “When Beyoncé and Jay-Z speak, the world becomes inspired and when it comes to LGBTQ people, their voices of acceptance have been heard loud and clear. We could not be prouder to stand with them to send a message of love during the biggest LGBTQ event in the world and to honor their work to bend the arc of justice forward for LGBTQ people, people of color, and marginalized communities everywhere.”
Bey and Jay will receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award, which is presented to allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people. 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.
Last year, Jay-Z received a GLAAD Special Recognition Award 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 has featured queer people in his other music videos including an appearance by Janet Mock “Family Feud” which opens with a quote from James Baldwin. Jay also famously supported the passage of marriage equality, noting it was “the right thing to do as a human being.”
Besides providing the gays with a bounty of bops to twerk to in dance clubs across the planet, Queen Bey has used her platform to champion LGBTQ equality, acceptance, and visibility. She’s spoken out against discriminatory laws in North Carolina, celebrated the passage of marriage equality, and including LGBTQ in her music videos and campaigns including her video for “All Night” and her Ivy Park athleisure line which featured Laverne Cox as one of the featured models.
The 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues. Events will be held in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 28 and in New York City on Saturday, May 4.
GLAAD previously announced that Sean Hayes will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award during the Los Angeles event. Ross Mathews will host the event and special guests will include the cast of Netflix’s Queer Eye, Allison Janney (I, Tonya), Nico Santos (Superstore, Crazy Rich Asians), Jameela Jamil (The Good Place), Shangela (A Star is Born, RuPaul’s Drag Race) and Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons.
GLAAD previously announced 151 nominees for the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in 27 categories, including an inaugural category for Outstanding Video Game, along with Kids & Family Programming, Comedy and Drama Series, Documentary, Reality Series, Music Artist, Comic Book, print, broadcast, and online news, and five Spanish-language categories. For the first time ever, the GLAAD Media Awards’ Outstanding Film – Limited Release category expanded from five to ten nominees as a result of a welcomed increase in fair, accurate, and inclusive LGBTQ images in film.