Madonna‘s support for the LGBTQ community goes back way before 1990’s “Vogue,” but almost three decades later she is being officially recognized for her contribution to it. This May 4, the pop icon will receive GLAAD’s Advocate for Change Award for being an activist, friend and hero to the LGBTQ community.
“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,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a press statement. “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.”
GLAAD’s announcement also included Madonna shining a light on queer dancers in 1991’s documentary Truth or Dare and that time she wore a Boy Scout uniform in 2013 to the GLAAD Media Awards to protest the organization’s ban on openly gay members and leaders, where she joked, “I wanted to be a boy scout but they wouldn’t let me join.” “Most people are not comfortable with things or people that they perceive as different from themselves,” she said, “and I would wager that if we just took the time to get to know each other — do our own investigation [and] looked beneath the surface of things — then we would find that we are not so different after all.”
Madonna’s impending award from GLAAD comes in the same year in which she is serving as an ambassador of the Stonewall Inn for its 50th anniversary. On New Year’s Eve, she made a surprise appearance at historic gay bar, where she delivered a similar message to the crowd, saying, “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. Let’s remember who and what we are fighting for — ourselves, for each other, but truly and most importantly, what are we fighting for? Let’s take a minute to reflect on how we can bring more love and peace into 2019, let’s look at how we can bring random acts of kindness. Maybe we can find an opening to bring the light in. Are you ready to do that?”