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Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 - Show

Source: Kevin Mazur / Getty

Earlier this year, we learned that Beyoncé and Jay Z would be honored by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) with the GLAAD Vanguard award for their efforts in promoting equal rights for LGBT people. While there were those who questioned whether the two had done enough to earn it, the people who presented the couple with the award certainly felt they had.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lena Waithe called them the most powerful Black people in the country. Janet Mock mentioned the significance of the couple casting her in their music video “Family Feud,” directed by Ava DuVernay (another former Vanguard winner). HIV activist, Morris Singletary spoke about how their concerts are akin to world peace, and Ty Hunter said that he was, according to THR, “plucked from obscurity at Houston’s Galleria mall by Tina Knowles-Lawson and taken on Destiny’s Child’s tour. He said the most powerful lesson he learned from the Carters is that “Love is love.”

After the speeches, Shangela, a former contestant on “Rupaul’s Drag Race,” honored Beyoncé specifically by lip-syncing and dancing to a seven-minute medley of Beyoncé’s greatest hits. She received a standing ovation from the crowd, including from Beyoncé herself who was seen beaming and bopping throughout the whole routine.

Jay Z: “Thank you GLAAD for this amazing honor and having us here this evening. Life’s journey is filled with highs, lows and a lot of learning. And this is a momentous night. And I also want to —because I didn’t get to do it last year—honor my mother who received the award last year. I’m following in her footsteps of spreading love and acceptance and her beautiful speech at the end of the song “Smile.”And for allowing me to tell her story, I want everyone to acknowledge her and her strong message of love who you love.  and souls that connect. And now the soul that my soul connected to, B.”


Beyoncé: “First of all, I’m overwhelmed. We were not expecting those incredible presenters. And just super honored and overwhelmed. I’ve already cried. I put a run in my stocking from Shangela. I would say that one of the most beautiful memories from our tour was seeing the most hardest gangster trapping out, right next to the most fabulous queen, full out, respecting and celebrating each other. (Repeating someone in the crowd) That’s how we do! That’s the beauty of a great partnership, connecting people who, at first glance, seem to be worlds apart. And whether it’s our fans or our family, the LGBTQI community has always supported us and lifted us up. 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 their truest form. We’d like to request that we continue to shift the stigmas in this community — especially the stigmas in Black families towards accepting queer Black and brown men and women around the world,”

Lastly, I want to dedicate this award to my Uncle Johnny to the most fabulous gay man I’ve ever known, ever knew. He helped raise me and my sister. He lived his truth. He was brave and unapologetic at a time when this country wasn’t as accepting. And witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever lived. I’m hopeful that his struggles served to open pathways for other young people to live more freely. LGBTQI rights are human rights. Choosing 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. Jay, I’m so proud of you for making incredible strides toward changing stigmas in the Hip Hop community. It’s a privilege to watch you take those steps and stand right next to you.”

You can watch the Carter’s full speech in the video below. Check out clips from Shangela’s performance on the following pages, it’s worth it.



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