Beyoncé and Jay Z will receive the Vanguard Award for being allies to the LGBTQ community at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Per a statement, GLAAD’s Vanguard Award is presented to people who “have made a significant difference promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people.” It continued, “Beyoncé and Jay Z 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.”
GLAAD noted the work that both Jay Z and Beyoncé have done throughout their careers on behalf of the LGBTQ community. Beyoncé, for instance, notably spoke out against North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ “Bathroom Bill” in 2016, while she also posted a message in support of LGBTQ students after President Donald Trump withdrew Obama-era protections for transgender students in 2017.
The pop star has also prominently included LGBTQ people and couples in various music videos, showcased transgender actress Laverne Cox in promos for her Ivy Park clothing line and famously dedicated a performance of “Halo” to the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
As for Jay Z, the GLAAD Vanguard Award comes one year after the rapper received the Special Recognition Award for his song, “Smile,” in which his mother, Gloria Carter, came out as a lesbian. Like Beyoncé, Jay Z has prominently featured LGBTQ people in his work, while he also supported the passage of marriage equality.
“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.”
Previous GLAAD Vanguard Award winners include Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Janet Jackson, Demi Lovato, Elizabeth Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg and Britney Spears. The 2019 GLAAD Media Awards will be held in Los Angeles March 28th and in New York City May 4th. Jay-Z and Beyoncé will be honored at the Los Angeles event, while Madonna will receive the Advocate for Change Award in New York City.