Through her music and performances, Madonna has been making LGBTQ causes a massive part of her artistic platform for more than 35 years ― and now, the community is set to recognize that contribution in a very big way.
The Queen of Pop will be presented with the Advocate for Change Award at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards in New York on May 4. She becomes the second person and first woman in the organization’s history to receive the honor, given to those who “changed the game for LGBTQ people around the world” through their work.
“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,” Kate Ellis, GLAAD president and CEO, said Tuesday in a statement to HuffPost. “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.”
The inaugural Advocate for Change Award was given to former President Bill Clinton in 2013. That same year, Madonna presented Anderson Cooper with the Vito Russo Award at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York. True to form, the superstar arrived at the ceremony dressed as a Boy Scout in protest of the Boy Scouts of America’s since-revoked ban on gay members and leaders. (Check out Madonna’s speech from that event above.)
News of the honor comes weeks after Madonna made a surprise appearance at New York’s Stonewall Inn on New Year’s Eve. Accompanied by her 13-year-old son, David, the seven-time Grammy winner entertained the crowd with acoustic renditions of her 1989 classic, “Like a Prayer,” and a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
In a short speech before the performance, Madonna praised the LGBTQ community’s efforts against “hatred, discrimination and, most of all, indifference.”
“If we truly took the time to get to know one another we would find that we all bleed the same color and we all need to love and be loved,” she said.