Taylor Swift will be honored the Vanguard Award at this year’s GLAAD Media Awards for her LGBTQ advocacy work.
The singer has used her voice and influence for LGBTQ rights and political change, specifically in recent years. Swift has become a more prominent figure in political activism and has been using her platform and fan base to share messages of acceptance, love and equality.
Each year, the Vanguard Award is presented to an individual who has “made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people.”
“From boldly standing up against anti-LGBTQ elected officials to shining attention on the urgent need to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination through the Equality Act, Taylor Swift proudly uses her unique ability to influence pop culture to promote LGBTQ acceptance,” Sarah Kate Ellis, the CEO and President of the organization, said in the statement released Tuesday.
She added, “In a time of political and cultural division, Taylor creates music that unites and calls on her massive fan following to speak up and call for change.”
The 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards will be held at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on April 16. At this time, a date for the New York City awards ceremony has not been released.
Past honorees of the award – which began honoring celebrities since the 4th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in 1993 – include Britney Spears, Patricia Arquette, Demi Lovato, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lopez, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston and Kathy Griffin, are only a few to name.
Last year, the Vanguard Award was given to Beyoncé and her husband, JAY-Z. The music icon accepted the honor and delivered an emotional speech which she dedicated to her uncle, Johnny, “The most fabulous gay man I have ever met,” who she said “lived his truth and was brave and unapologetic at a time when this country wasn’t as accepting.”
“Witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever lived,” Beyoncé said. “I’m hopeful that his struggled served to open pathways for other young people to live more freely. LGBTQI rights are human rights.”