GLAAD Media Awards: Beyonce, Jay-Z to Be Honored for Being LGBTQ Allies

The superstar musicians will be honored with the Vanguard Award at the Los Angeles ceremony on March 28.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation

Beyonce and Jay-Z have owned quite a few stages together performing side by side but on March 28, the global superstars will do something far less common when they take over the microphones inside the Beverly Hilton. The global power couple will accept the Vanguard Award together and deliver a speech during the milestone 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. 

The LGBTQ media advocacy organization announced the news this morning and in doing so, singled out why Bey and Jay have been selected for the honor which will put them on a list of previous recipients like Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Elizabeth Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg and Britney Spears. The organization cited Beyonce's advocacy on gay marriage as well as speaking out against laws that would discriminate against LGBTQ people in states like North Carolina. She cast LGBTQ people and couples in videos for "Formation" and "All Night" and drafted trans star Laverne Cox to appear in promos for her athleisure brand Ivy Park. On her Formation world tour, she dedicated her performance of "Halo" to victims and survivors of Orlando's Pulse nightclub shooting. 

As for Jay, this won't be his first GLAAD honor. The rapper and entertainment mogul received a GLAAD special recognition award last year for his song and music video, “Smile,” featuring his mother Gloria Carter, who used the song to come out as a lesbian. GLAAD also singled out Jay for featuring "LGBTQ people in his art including an appearance by LGBTQ leader Janet Mock in the video for "Family Feud," which opens with a quote from iconic gay writer James Baldwin. 

“Beyonce and Jay-Z are global icons and passionate defenders of human rights and acceptance for all people,” said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “When Beyonce 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. 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.”

March 28 is shaping up to be a big night for GLAAD. In addition to having Bey and Jay in the building, GLAAD will fete Sean Hayes, who will accept the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the Ross Mathews-hosted event. Confirmed attendees include the cast of Netflix’s Queer Eye, Allison Janney, Nico Santos, Jameela Jamil, Shangela and Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons. GLAAD previously announced 151 nominees for the Media Awards in 27 categories. The Hollywood Reporter is included in the mix, nominated for outstanding magazine article for a feature titled "21 Transgender Stars, Creators Sound Off on Hollywood: 'I Want to Portray These Characters, and I'm Ready,'" written by Chris Gardner, Rebecca Sun, Lindsay Weinberg, Joelle Goldstein and Bryan White. 

GLAAD will also host a New York installment of its Media Awards on May 4 when Madonna will be honored. The 30th GLAAD Media Awards are supported by presenting partners Delta Air Lines, Gilead, Hyundai, Ketel One Family-Made Vodka and Wells Fargo. Official partners include Bud Light and Google; titanium partner AT&T and WEN; platinum partners Comcast NBCUniversal- Telemundo, CAA, Disney ABC Television Group, HBO, Hulu, Kaiser Permanente, MetLife, NBA & WNBA, Netflix, Omnicom Group, PRG, Turner; gold partners CBS/Showtime, Nielsen, PWC, UM, Univision, and VER; and Silver Partners Allstate, Coca-Cola, Morgan Stanley and Warner Bros.