Beyoncé and Jay-Z to be honoured for promoting LGBTQ acceptance

Beyoncé performing with Jay-Z, whom she married in 2008 (Pic: (Pic: Hello hubbie!))

Superstars Beyoncé and Jay-Z will be awarded for their LGBTQ allyship at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles later this month.

The GLAAD Media Awards honour media and public figures for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z 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.

The trailblazing musical couple, said GLAAD, are longtime allies and supporters of the LGBTQ community who use their global platforms to share messages that inspire and change the world for the better.

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.

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 shared her powerful story.

Jay-Z has also 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.”

“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 marginalised communities everywhere.”

The organisation has announced 151 nominees for the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in 27 categories, including an inaugural category for Outstanding Video Game. The awards are split between two events; one will be held in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 28 and another in New York City on Saturday, May 4.

Will & Grace star Sean Hayes will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award during the Los Angeles event. Ross Mathews will host and special guests will include the cast of Netflix’s Queer Eye, Allison Janney (Mom, 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 that LGBTQ icon Madonna will receive the Advocate for Change Award at the event in New York City in May.

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