GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis confirmed the couple’s forthcoming honor in a press release. “Beyoncé and JAY-Z are global icons and passionate defenders of human rights and acceptance for all people. 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,” she said.
Applauding the couple for their individual efforts in raising awareness and celebrating the gay community, Ellis continued, “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.”
Longtime allies, Beyoncé and JAY-Z have used their platforms to uplift the gay community for years.
Beyoncé previously celebrated the passage of nationwide marriage equality, included LGBTQ people and couples in several music videos, honored the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting and proudly used transgender actress Laverne Cox as a model for her Ivy Park athleisure clothing line.
Last year, JAY-Z received a GLAAD Special Recognition Award for the release of his song and music video “Smile.” His mother, Gloria Carter, used “Smile” to come out as a lesbian. The rapper featured LGBTQ trailblazer Janet Mock in a music video and incorporated lyrics from revered writer James Baldwin, who was openly gay, in a video as well.
The GLAAD Media Awards highlights those who use their platforms for fair, accurate and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues. Previous Vanguard Award recipients include Kerry Washington, Janet Jackson and Whoopi Goldberg.
This year’s Los Angeles-based awards ceremony is set to take place on March 28. The New York edition of the GLAAD Media Awards will be held May 4.
Visit glaad.org/mediaawards for more information.