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Beyonce and JAY-Z perform during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on Dec. 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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Citizenship

Beyoncé and JAY-Z to Win GLAAD Award for Being 'Passionate' LGBTQ Allies


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Beyoncé and JAY-Z are a powerful force for change. From girls’ education to criminal justice reform to LGBTQ rights, the pair have used both their art and platforms to advocate for a more equal world — and once again, they are being recognized for their incredible work. You can take action on these issues and more here.

This year has been off the a great start for Beyoncé and JAY-Z. The pair have already taken home a Grammy and a BRIT Award, and this month, they’ll add yet another win to that list: the Vanguard Award.

The annual award — presented by GLAAD, an LGBTQ media advocacy organization — will be presented to the singer and rapper, GLAAD announced on Monday. The award recognizes “allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people, and has previously been given to performers such as Demi Lovato, Whoopi Goldberg, and Janet Jackson.

“Beyoncé and JAY-Z are global icons and passionate defenders of human rights and acceptance for all people,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “When Beyoncé 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.”

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The Carters are clearly a force to be reckoned with, both on stage as captivating performers and off stage as powerful advocates for human rights and equality.

The inspiring couple embody the idea that “Everything Is Love” — also the title of their recent joint album — and encourage others to do the same.

JAY-Z has long supported same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights.

"What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That's their business,” he told CNN in 2012. “[It] is no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination plain and simple."

The Vanguard Award, which will be officially given to the couple at the GLAAD Media Awards ceremony on March 28, isn’t JAY-Z’s first GLAAD award. The rapper received a Special Recognition Award last year in recognition of his song “Smile,” through which his mother publicly came out as a lesbian.

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Beyoncé has also consistently used her platform to advocate for equal rights and support for the LGBTQ community. The singer has included same-sex couples in her music videos, featured trans icon Laverne Cox in an ad for her fitness clothing line, and spoken out against the North Carolina “bathroom bill” preventing LGBTQ people from using the bathroom consistent with their gender identity.

The Carters’ activism isn’t limited to advancing LGBTQ rights. Both JAY-Z and Beyoncé are Global Citizen Ambassadors and, for years, have called for greater gender and racial equality, as well as and an end to global poverty. The pair performed together at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 in Johannesburg, South Africa, last December.

“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,” Ellis said.