Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100Thursday night in L.A., Beyonce and her husband JAY-Z were honored with the GLAAD Vanguard Award for their work as allies to the LGBTQ community. During her emotional acceptance speech, Bey revealed she’d lost her beloved uncle to HIV.
Bey told the crowd about her uncle Johnny, who she described as, “the most fabulous gay man I have ever known,” and who helped raise both her and her sister Solange.
“He lived his truth. He was brave and unapologetic during a time when this country wasn’t as accepting. And witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I have ever lived,” Beyonce said. “I’m hopeful that his struggle served to open pathways for other people to live more freely.”
“We’re here to promote love for every human being and change starts with supporting the people closest to you,” the superstar told the crowd. “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.”
Then, according to USA Today, Bey quoted her hit song “Formation,” saying, “LGBTQI rights are human rights. To choose who you love is your human right…Who you make love to and take that a** to Red Lobster is your human right!”
The crowd cheered and laughed.
Bey also praised Jay for, “making incredible strides towards changing stigma in the hip-hop community,” adding, “It is a privilege to take those steps and to stand right next to you.”
Jay’s song “Smile,” from his album 4:44, described his mother’s decision to come out as a lesbian.
According to USA Today, a highlight of the evening was drag performer Shangela delivering a Bey tribute complete with perfect lip-syncing and choreography.
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