Beyoncé and Jay-Z attended this year’s GLAAD Media Awards to accept the Vanguard Award for being powerful allies to the LGBTQ community. They used their emotional and empowering speech to celebrate important people in their lives who happen to be members of this community.
Jay-Z used his time to honor his mother, whose experience of coming out served as inspiration for his song “Smile”. This groundbreaking track was awarded a GLAAD Special Recognition Award last year.
Beyoncé started her portion of the speech by praising her late uncle Johnny, whom she described as most fabulous gay man she’s ever known. He was the one who helped raise the singer and her sister Solange, who both witnessed his battle with HIV – but also his brave and unapologetic approach to life.
“I am hoping that his struggles serve to open pathways for other young people to live more freely. LGBTQ rights are human rights. To choose who you love is your human right. How you identify and see yourself is your human right,” said Beyoncé.