Beyoncé and Jay-Z faced some criticism from the LGBTQ community after it was announced they would both receive the Vanguard Award at the GLAAD Media Awards. Queen Bey gave an emotional speech devoted to her late uncle, while Hov honored his mother during his moment to speak.
They used only five minutes at the podium, but it paid off in a big way, judging, first, by the standing ovation they received as they made their way to the stage and, later, by the shouts and applause they received during their remarks. Those included honoring their respective gay relatives (Jay-Z’s mother Gloria Carter; Beyoncé’s uncle Johnny), preaching a message of love and acceptance and returning heartfelt gratitude to LGBTQ fans and the GLAAD organization.
It’s also important to point out what happened before they planted any shoes onstage. Both Beyoncé and Jay-Z seemed pleasantly shocked and humbled to see a quartet of unannounced presenters take turns detailing their advocacy, humanity and friendship. There was Emmy-winning multi-hyphenate Lena Waithe, transgender writer and producer Janet Mock, HIV activist Morris Singletary and Bey’s longtime stylist Ty Hunter.
Waithe called them the most powerful black people in the country; Mock cited the significance of them casting her in the Ava DuVernay-directed music video for “Family Feud”; Singletary said their concerts are akin to world peace; and Hunter, plucked from obscurity inside Houston’s Galleria mall by Tina Knowles and placed on tour with Destiny’s Child, detailed the most powerful lesson he’s learned from “the Carters,” which is this: “Love is love.”
Read the rest of THR‘s in-depth reporting here.