Mar 29, 2019

    Beyoncé And Jay-Z Gave Powerful Speeches After People Questioned Why They Won An LGBT Award

    "To choose who you love is your human right. How you identify and see yourself is your human right."

    Beyoncé and Jay-Z were painting the town a glorious shade of rainbow last night as they both attended the GLAAD Awards in LA.

    Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

    The power couple were in attendance to pick up the Vanguard Award, which they were given to honour their "LGBTQ allyship" and helping to "[accelerate] LGBTQ acceptance".

    On stage, both gave impassioned speeches about love and acceptance. "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," said Beyoncé, referencing her song "Formation".

    GLAAD

    "We're here to promote love for every human being and change starts with supporting the people closest to you," she continued. "So, let's tell them they are loved, let's remind them that they are beautiful, let's speak out and protect them, and parents, let's love our kids in their truest form."

    GLAAD

    A visibly emotional Beyoncé went on to dedicate the award to her uncle Johnny, who had lived with HIV. "He lived his truth. He was brave and unapologetic during a time when this country wasn't as accepting," she said. "Witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I've ever lived."

    GLAAD

    She finished: "I'm hopeful that his struggles served to open pathways for other young people to live more freely. LGBTQI rights are human rights."

    GLAAD

    Jay-Z, meanwhile, gave a cute shoutout to his mom, Gloria. "I also wanna honour my mother," he said. "I get to follow in her footsteps of spreading love and acceptance."

    GLAAD

    Gloria Carter publicly came out in his song "Smile" in 2017 and won a GLAAD award last year.

    The powerful speeches come in the wake of online criticism, with some people questioning why Beyoncé and Jay-Z were the recipients of such a prestigious award.

    I love Beyoncé as much as the next gay, but I really don’t understand why her and Jay-Z (DONT EVEN GET ME STARTED) are receiving the Vanguard Award from GLAAD??????

    @glaad @Beyonce @S_C_ @All_TogetherUK I am really confused here...can someone please tell me what they have done for our community? I am kinda upset about this... there are more deserving celebs that have done so much without recognition

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Beyoncé, but I’m not really sure why her and Jay Z are getting a GLAAD award. Genuine question - what have they actively done to support the LGBT+ community? (Asking Out of curiosity rather than shade) https://t.co/y3CECGmYUy

    However, fans immediately jumped to the couple's defence, providing receipts of their public support for the community. They also reminded people that Bey and Jay are famously private and low-key when it comes to helping good causes.

    Why Beyoncé deserves the Glaad Ally Award. For her contributions to the LGBT+ community. 🏳️‍🌈 We all know that Beyonce and Jay don’t do public acts

    Beyoncé encouraged people to help protect LGBTQ youths. This message came after the Trump administration announced it would be rolling back protections put in place by the Obama administration that barred schools from discriminating against transgender students.

    @PADDYgayMUFC @glaad @Beyonce @S_C_ @All_TogetherUK But you do not know what Jay-Z and Beyoncé do in private. They have never publicized their charity works. The article states the same, including what they’ve done publicly. Why is the validity of the awards suddenly questioned but all these years everyone else was celebrated?

    GLAAD themselves wrote on their website: "Beyoncé and JAY-Z are longtime allies and supporters of the LGBTQ community who use their global platforms to share messages that inspire and change the world for the better."

    Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

    You can watch a clip of Beyoncé and Jay-Z's GLAAD speeches here.

    Ben Henry is a celebrity reporter for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ben Henry at ben.henry@buzzfeed.com.

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