One of our favorite celebrity couples is being honored in a big way this year. On Monday, GLAAD announced that Beyoncé and Jay-Z will receive the 2019 Vanguard Award for their LGBTQ allyship. This is a big deal because each year, GLAAD honors celebrity allies who use their platforms to help advance LGBTQ rights and who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of queer and transgender people, especially in the U.S.
“Beyoncé and Jay-Z are global icons and passionate defenders of human rights and acceptance for all people,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement released on Monday. “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 Carters will receive the 2019 Vanguard Award at the annual GLAAD Media Awards, which will also LGBTQ creators for their contributions to categories like film, music and literature. In her statement, 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.”
Beyoncé and Jay-Z have a documented history supporting people in the LGBTQ community. In 2012, when musician Frank Ocean revealed his attraction to men ahead of the release of his debut album, Channel Orange, Beyoncé penned a letter of support that she posted on her website at the time. Also in 2012, Jay-Z spoke up in support of gay marriage, returning to the topic in 2018 when he told CNN that when his mother, Gloria Carter, came out to him as a lesbian, he cried tears of joy. Last year, Gloria Carter received a GLAAD Special Recognition Award for her appearance on her son’s song “Smile” from his album 4:44.
In addition to honoring Beyoncé and Jay-Z at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards, the organization will also honor Will & Grace star Sean Hayes with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award for being an openly gay member of the entertainment community who works toward eliminating homophobia in the industry. Madonna is also set to receive the Advocate for Change Award, which is a special recognition for a lifetime of pushing for LGBTQ acceptance; she is only the second person to receive this award, as well as the first woman.
The GLAAD Media Awards will take place across two ceremonies this year. The Los Angeles ceremony will take place on March 28 and the New York ceremony will take place March 4. For more information, as well as a complete list of 2019 nominees, click here.