Madonna will be awarded GLAAD’s Advocate for Change Award at the 30th GLAAD Media Awards in May.
The pop music icon will be honored by the advocacy group in New York for her lifetime of accelerating LGBTQ acceptance, GLAAD announced Tuesday. Madonna is the second person and first woman to receive the honor, which is awarded to “a person who, through their work, changed the game for LGBTQ people around the world.” President Clinton was given the Advocate for Change Award in 2013 for work to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.
Madonna has supported the LGBTQ community since the early days of her career, which coincided with the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s. The organization cited her performances at AIDS benefit concerts, creating a benefit dance marathon and demanding action when the epidemic went unrecognized by media.
This year is the 30th anniversary of her 1989 album, “Like a Prayer,” and GLAAD noted that the album included a leaflet titled “The Facts about AIDS.”
“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 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 lifesaving outlets for LGBTQ people over the years and her affirming words and actions have changed countless hearts and minds.”
In 2013, the pop singer appeared at the annual ceremony to present an award to CNN journalist Anderson Cooper. This year she is set to accept the honor in New York at the May 4 ceremony, which recognizes media for fair, accurate and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues.
In a banner year for LGBTQ representation onscreen, 20 films and 30 television shows (plus five individual TV episodes and five TV movies or limited series) are up for honors at this year’s GLAAD Media Awards. For the first time, the organization has expanded the category honoring films with a limited theatrical release from five to 10 nominees.