Last night The Carters were honored at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, where they made a passionate speech while accepting the Vanguard Award for their LGBTQ advocacy. Followed by an elaborate introduction that included a Beyoncé inspired performance by famous drag queen Shangela, the power couple took the stage and were full of emotion while preaching the acceptance and inclusion of everyone.
JAY-Z, who received a GLAAD Special Recognition Award last year for his song and music video, “Smile,” which featured his mother Gloria Carter, began his speech by saying: “Life is full of highs, lows, and a lot of learning. This is a momentous night and I also want, because I didn’t do it last year, to honor my mother who received the award last year. I’m following in her footsteps of spreading love and acceptance.” From there, he thanked his mother for her “beautiful speech at the end of the song ‘Smile,’” and for “allowing me to tell her story, so I want everyone to acknowledge that and her strong message of love who you love.”
That led Beyoncé to speak on the diversity of their fans, noting that “I would say that one of the most beautiful memories from our tour was looking out from the stage every night and seeing the hardest gangsters trappin’ out right next to the most fabulous queens, respecting and celebrating each other. And that’s the duty of my partnership, connecting people who at first glance seem worlds apart.”
She went on to dedicate the award to her Uncle Johnny, who she described as “the most fabulous gay man, who helped raise me and my sister. He lived his truth. He was brave and unapologetic during a time when this country was not as accepting.” Beyoncé then added that witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences she’s ever endured.
“LGBTQI rights are human rights,” Beyoncé continued, “To choose who you love is your human right, how you identify and see yourself is your human right, who you make love to and take that ass to Red Lobster is your human right.”
It should be noted that the Vanguard Award itself is presented to allies who have sparked a significant change in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people, while previous recipients have been Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington, Cher, Janet Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Antonio Banderas, Demi Lovato, Whoopi Goldberg, and Britney Spears.