Things got very personal for Beyoncé and Jay-Z at Thursday’s 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
The superstar couple was presented with the Vanguard Award and used the moment to stand strong for LGBTQ rights.
“We would like to request that we continue to shift the stigmas in this community,” Beyoncé said, “especially the stigmas in black families towards accepting queer black and brown men and women around the world.”
They both also hailed gay family members who influenced them.
Jay-Z paid tribute to his mother, Gloria Carter, a lesbian who speaks of “living in the shadow” during her vocal appearance on his song, “Smile,” from the album “4:44.”
“I get to follow in her footsteps for spreading love and acceptance and her beautiful speech at the end of the song, ‘Smile,’ and for allowing me to tell her story,” the rapper said Thursday.
Beyoncé dedicated her award to her late Uncle Johnny, a gay man who she said, “lived his truth” and “was brave and unapologetic during a time when this country wasn’t as accepting.”
Watching his battle with HIV, Beyoncé said, was “one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever lived.”
“I am hoping that his struggles serve to open pathways for other young people to live more freely,” she said. “LGBTQI rights are human rights. To choose who you love is your human right. How you identify and see yourself is your human right.”
The event, held at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, aims to honor media for fair, accurate and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues.
“Will & Grace” star Sean Hayes received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. During his acceptance speech, he slammed Vice President Mike Pence and took a jab at Jussie Smollett, who recently agreed to forfeit $10,000 and complete community service in exchange for the dismissal of charges tied to allegations he orchestrated a racist and homophobic attack against himself.
“I’ve been getting in shape for tonight with the Jussie Smollett workout,” Hayes quipped. “You hire two trainers and sweat for eight weeks.”
Here are some of the other GLAAD Media Awards winners:
Outstanding Film – Wide Release
“Love, Simon” (20th Century Fox)
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Reality Program
“Queer Eye” (Netflix)
Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBTQ character)
“Someplace Other Than Here,” “The Guest Book” (TBS)
Outstanding Kids & Family Programming
“Steven Universe” (Cartoon Network)
Outstanding Video Game
“The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset” (Bethesda Softworks)
Outstanding Comic Book
“Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles,” written by Mark Russell (DC Comics)
Outstanding Magazine Article
“Can a Transgender Woman Get Justice in Texas?” by Nate Blakeslee (Texas Monthly)
Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage
Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine (Spanish-Language)
“Entrevista con Luis Sandoval para National Coming Out Day,” “Despierta América” (Univision)
Outstanding Digital Journalism (Spanish-Language)
“Así pinta la televisión hispana a los personajes LGBTQ, una representación preocupante” by Daniel Shoer Roth (ElNuevoHerald.com)
Special Recognition (Spanish-Language)
“House of Mamis” (INTOmore.com)