LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD announced on Tuesday that they would bestow their upcoming Advocate for Change Award to none other than Madonna. Reserved for public figures who champion the LGBTQ community in their work, the Queen of Pop will be the first woman and second person ever to receive the honor, after former President Bill Clinton was honored in 2013 for helping advance marriage equality in the United States. The 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards is set to take place on May 4th in New York City.
“Madonna always has and always will be the LGBTQ community’s greatest ally, and it is only fitting to honor and celebrate our biggest advocate at GLAAD’s biggest event ever,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO, in a press release. “From the HIV crisis to international LGBTQ issues, she fearlessly pushes for a world where LGBTQ people are accepted. Her music and art have been life-saving outlets for LGBTQ people over the years and her affirming words and actions have changed countless hearts and minds.”
This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Madonna’s landmark studio album, 1989’s Like a Prayer — and with it her battle cry for global sexual liberation, “Express Yourself.” The first round of pressings notably featured a guide to safer sex as well as a PSA on the dangers of contracting HIV, to which she said to have lost many friends. The singer’s most recent performance was this past New Year’s Eve, when she celebrated “50 years of revolution” at New York City’s historic Stonewall Inn — the site of a 1969 riot that accelerated the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
“As a matter of principle, I believe in equal rights for all people, no matter what their gender, race, color, religion, or sexual orientation,” wrote Madonna in a 2010 statement condemning the imprisonment of a married gay couple in Malawi. “The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support our basic human right to love and be loved.”
The GLAAD Media Awards annually recognizes and honors those in media who are committed to fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives. Nominees at the GLAAD Media Awards include Brandi Carlisle, Janelle Monaé, Kim Petras and many more. The full list of nominees and their categories is available at GLAAD.org.