GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) announced that it will honor Beyoncé and Jay Z with the Vanguard Award at its 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, reports Variety. The event will take place at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on March 28. Previous Vanguard Award honorees include Cher, Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Demi Lovato and Jennifer Lopez.
The award celebrates the couple’s relationship to the LGBTQ community and their use of their global platforms as a way to promote positive change and inclusion. “Beyoncé and Jay Z are global icons and passionate defenders of human rights and acceptance for all people,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “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.”
The couple has spoken out against discriminatory legislation in states such as North Carolina and actively supported the passage of marriage equality in the U.S. On top of vocal support, the entertainers have also made efforts to diversify the content they produce. Beyoncé included LGBTQ people in her videos for “Formation” and “All Night,” and Jay Z featured LGBTQ leader Janet Mock in his video for “Family Feud.”
Beyoncé also dedicated her performance of “Halo” during “The Formation World Tour” to the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting and showcased transgender actress Laverne Cox as one of the faces of her Athleisure clothing line Ivy Park. This won’t be the first time Jay Z will receive an honor from GLAAD. In 2018, he received the GLAAD Special Recognition Award for his song and music video “Smile,” in which his mother Gloria Carter came out as a lesbian. His mother accepted the GLAAD Media Award the same year for the powerful story she shared within the lyrics of her son’s song.