On Thursday, March 28th, music’s reigning royal couple, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, received the Vanguard Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards (GLAAD being the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). The award is given yearly to a person or people “who have made a big difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBTQ people,” according to GLAAD’s website.
While accepting the award, Jay-Z spoke about his personal experiences with the LGBTQ+ community—specifically his mom, Gloria Carter (the rapper delves into his mother coming out as a lesbian later in life in his track “Smile” on the 4:44 album; the track even includes an excerpt of her voice). “I get to follow in her footsteps for spreading love and acceptance” he said, per Deadline, noting his gratitude to her for “letting me tell her story.”
Beyoncé then followed up by sharing her own experiences with LGBTQ+ family, honoring her Uncle Johnny who died of HIV. “He lived his truth; he was brave and unapologetic during a time when this country wasn’t as accepting—witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever lived.”
(That last part reportedly elicited major cheers from the crowd, fyi.) You can watch the duo’s acceptance speech here:
Thank you for being such strong allies, Bey and Jay. This is critical work, and we’re confident it’s making a true difference in so many people’s lives.