It was a night of celebration for Beyoncé and JAY-Z.
The superstar couple was honored with the prestigious Vanguard Award for their LGBTQ advocacy at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on Thursday night (Mar. 28) in Beverly Hills.
Following a tribute medley from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Shangela, as well as an introduction from Morris Singletary, Janet Mock, Ty Hunter, and Lena Waithe, the Carters took the stage to deliver powerful and heartfelt speeches while standing for LGBTQ rights.
“We were not expecting any of those incredible presenters and just super honored and overwhelmed,” Bey told the crowd at the Beverly Hilton. “I have already cried. I put a run in my stocking.”
“Whether it’s our fans, or our family, the LGBTQI community has always supported us and lifted us up,” she continued. “We’re here to promote love for every human being, and change starts with supporting the people closest to you. So let’s tell them they are loved, let’s remind them they are beautiful, let’s speak out and protect them, and parents—let’s love our kids in our truest form.”
She also urged for more acceptance. “We would like to request that we continue to shift the stigma in this community, especially the stigmas in black families, towards accepting queer black and brown family members.”
The mother of three dedicated her award to her late Uncle Johnny, who died from complications related to HIV. “I want to dedicate this award to my uncle Johnny, the most fabulous gay man I have ever known, who helped raise me and my sister,” said an emotional Bey as JAY-Z comforted her. “He lived his truth and he was brave and unapologetic at a time when this country wasn’t as accepting.”
At one point, Bey quoted her famous “Formation” lyrics. “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,” she said while drawing laughs and cheers from the audience.
— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) March 29, 2019
Plus, she thanked her husband for his work in the hip-hop community. “I just want to say to you, JAY, that I am so proud of you for making incredible strides towards changing stigmas in the hip-hop community. It’s a privilege to watch you take those steps and to stand right next to you. I love you and we’re super grateful and honored.”
During his speech, JAY-Z paid tribute to his mother, Gloria Carter, who came out as a lesbian. Last year, he received a GLAAD Special Recognition Award for his 4:44 song “Smile,” which she inspired and is featured on.
“I want to honor my mother, who received the award last year,” he said. “I get to follow in her footsteps of spreading love and acceptance and her beautiful speech at the end of the song ‘Smile’ and for her allowing me to tell her story.”