Pop icon Madonna to be honored with the Advocate for Change Award at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards

GLAAD has announced today that pop icon and longtime LGBTQ advocate, Madonna, is set to be honored with the Advocate for Change Award at the upcoming 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on May 4th, 2019. 

“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,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “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.”

Madonna’s support for the LGBTQ community started at the beginning of her career during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s. She performed at HIV/AIDS benefit concerts, created a benefit dance marathon, and spoke out and demanded action at a time when HIV/AIDS was too often invisible in the media. Madonna also included a leaflet in her album Like a Prayer entitled “The Facts about AIDS” in which she gave fans crucial information about HIV/AIDS. More recently, Madonna has continued to use her platform to support the LGBTQ community, speaking out against anti-LGBTQ laws, policies, and practices. Madonna has spoken out for LGBTQ equality in Romania, Malawi, Russia and more and she continues to advocate for equality in the United States. She has also spoken against bullying of LGBTQ youth and related LGBTQ youth suicide. In 2013, when presenting Anderson Cooper with the Vito Russo Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, she dressed as a Boy Scout in protest of the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on LGBTQ people.

This past New Year’s Eve, Madonna gave a surprise performance at the Stonewall Inn, an historic venue for LGBTQ rights, to celebrate its upcoming anniversary and, in her words, “fifty years of revolution.” Madonna has also participated in intersectional advocacy, speaking at the first Women’s March on Washington for women’s equality, and speaking out against Trump’s child detention policy. When responding to the imprisonment of two men who had been jailed in Malawi for marrying, Madonna released a statement that completely summarizes her commitment and support of the LGBTQ community, writing: "As a matter of principle, I believe in equal rights for all people, no matter what their gender, race, color, religion, or sexual orientation. This week, Malawi took a giant step backward. The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support our basic human right to love and be loved.”

The GLAAD Advocate for Change Award has only been given out once before to former President Bill Clinton in 2013 during the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards for his advocacy work to overturn the anti-LGBTQ Defense of Marriage Act and advance marriage equality nationwide.

GLAAD announced 151 nominees in 27 categories, including an inaugural category for Outstanding Video Game, along with Kids & Family Programming, Comedy and Drama Series, Documentary, Reality Series, Music Artist, Comic Book, print, broadcast, and online news, and five Spanish-language categories. For the first time ever, the GLAAD Media Awards' Outstanding Film – Limited Release category expanded from five to ten nominees as a result of a welcome increase in fair, accurate, and inclusive LGBTQ images in film.

The 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are supported by Presenting Partners Delta Air Lines, Gilead, Hyundai, Ketel One Family-Made Vodka, and Wells Fargo. GLAAD is also grateful to: Official Partner Bud Light; Titanium Partner AT&T; Platinum Partners Disney ABC Television Group, Hulu, MetLife, NBA & WNBA, Omnicom Group, Turner; Gold Partner Nielsen; and Silver Partner Coca-Cola.