The 30th GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Association Against Defamation) Awards will honor music legend and LGBTQ+ ally Madonna with the Advocate for Change Award for her continued advancement of accelerating acceptance towards the LGBTQ+ community through her music and personal endeavors.
“Madonna always has and always will be the LGBTQ community’s greatest ally and it is only fitting to honor and celebrate our biggest advocate at GLAAD’s biggest event ever,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “From the HIV crisis to international LGBTQ issues, she fearlessly pushes for a world where LGBTQ people are accepted. Her music and art have been life-saving outlets for LGBTQ people over the years and her affirming words and actions have changed countless hearts and minds.”
Madonna’s support for the LGBTQ community started at the beginning of her career during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s. She performed at HIV/AIDS benefit concerts, created a benefit dance marathon, and spoke out and demanded action at a time when HIV/AIDS was too often invisible in the media. Madonna also included a leaflet in her album Like a Prayer entitled “The Facts about AIDS” in which she gave fans crucial information about HIV/AIDS. More recently, Madonna has continued to use her platform to support the LGBTQ community, speaking out against anti-LGBTQ laws, policies, and practices. Madonna has spoken out for LGBTQ equality in Romania, Malawi, Russia and more and she continues to advocate for equality in the United States. She has also spoken against bullying of LGBTQ youth and related LGBTQ youth suicide. In 2013, when presenting Anderson Cooper with the Vito Russo Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, she dressed as a Boy Scout in protest of the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on LGBTQ people.
Madonna gave a surprise performance at the Stonewall Inn, an historic venue for LGBTQ rights, to celebrate its upcoming anniversary and, in her words, “fifty years of revolution.” Madonna has also participated in intersectional advocacy, speaking at the first Women’s March on Washington for women’s equality, and speaking out against Trump’s child detention policy. When responding to the imprisonment of two men who had been jailed in Malawi for marrying, the singer, who has four adopted children from and built multiple schools in the African country, released this statement:
“As a matter of principle, I believe in equal rights for all people, no matter what their gender, race, color, religion, or sexual orientation. This week, Malawi took a giant step backward. The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support our basic human right to love and be loved.”
GLAAD announced 151 nominees in 27 categories, including an inaugural category for Outstanding Video Game, along with Kids & Family Programming, Comedy and Drama Series, Documentary, Reality Series, Music Artist, Comic Book, print, broadcast, and online news, and five Spanish-language categories. For the first time ever, the GLAAD Media Awards’ Outstanding Film – Limited Release category expanded from five to ten nominees as a result of a welcome increase in fair, accurate, and inclusive LGBTQ images in film.
The award will be presented to the music icon on May 4th in the org’s New York ceremony.