8 Times Beyoncé Proved She Is a Fierce LGBTQ Ally
On Monday (March 11), Beyoncé and Jay-Z were announced as the recipients of this year’s Vanguard Award from GLAAD for their continued support of the LGBTQ community, joining past honorees like Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Janet Jackson and Cher. The couple will take the stage on March 28 to deliver a message of empowerment and encouragement that, given their superstar status, will reach a global audience.
But before she was announced as an honoree, Beyoncé has proven to be an ally for the LGBTQ community -- not only is her discography inescapable at gay bars around the world, the superstar has made her love and advocacy for the LGBTQ community abundantly clear.
From her support of LGBTQ artists to her passion for transgender rights, here are eight times Beyoncé was an active ally for the LGBTQ community.
LGBTQ Fans Are Her Inspiration
In a 2011 interview with Pride Source, the superstar acknowledged the difficulty of coming out and said that she was in awe of her gay fans. “The amount of confidence and fearlessness it takes to do what maybe is not what your parents expect you to do or what society may think is different -- to be brave and be different and to be yourself -- is just so beautiful,” she said. “Not worrying about satisfying or becoming what other people think you’re supposed to be, that’s like the ultimate dream.”
Supporting Queer Talent
Beyoncé’s support does not stop with her fans. The singer has worked with and uplifted several queer artists. Singer-songwriter MNEK worked with Queen Bey on her track “Hold Up” and told Pitchfork that working with the superstar was a stamp of validation. “It was awesome, that someone of her caliber appreciated what I was doing,” he said. Beyoncé also featured the voices of queer stars Big Freedia and Messy Mya on “Formation” (though there was some legal drama with the late entertainer’s estate). She’s shown out-and-out love for R&B star Frank Ocean as well, whom she has worked with twice (on her song “Superpower” and his track “Pink + White”) and who she openly supported after he publicly came out as bisexual.
Marriage Equality for All
Years before it became the law of the land, Beyoncé was an outspoken advocate for marriage equality, taking multiple opportunities to share her support. When the Supreme Court finally did rule in favor of same-sex marriage, Beyoncé even created a short LGBTQ-themed version of her “7/11” video to celebrate with her fans.
Visibility for LGBTQ+ Couples in “All Night”
In her stunning visual album Lemonade, Beyoncé made it clear that she was there to speak about love, loss and oppression. Fittingly, in the video for the album’s final track, Beyoncé incorporated same-sex couples into the shoot, highlighting the fact that the message of her work was the same for anyone, regardless of orientation or gender.
Standing Up for Trans Rights
Beyoncé doesn’t ignore the T in LGBTQ and has a solid track record of supporting her transgender fans. The star promoted the “Y’all Means All” campaign aimed at overturning North Carolina’s discriminatory “Bathroom Bill,” along with urging her fans to donate money to GLSEN following President Trump’s rollback of Obama-era protections of trans students in public schools.
Laverne Cox Modeled Her Fitness Wear Line
Along with advocating for transgender issues, Beyoncé also provided visibility for the trans community when she hired actress and activist Laverne Cox as the face of her advertising campaign for her athleisure clothing line Ivy Park. That collaboration later blossomed into a casual friendship.
Beyoncé performing “Formation” in her Pride-Inspired outfit. -- pic.twitter.com/LCwacOl4u6— BEYONCÉ HUB (@theyoncehub) December 2, 2018
A Human Pride Flag
Several stars have stood onstage and waved a rainbow flag to show their support, but in true Beyoncé fashion, she found a way to make the gesture larger than life. At her 2018 Global Citizen Festival performance, Bey lined up in a row with her dancers, each wearing a different color, to make a human Pride flag.
Uplifting Trans Activist Janet Mock During Black History Month
As part of her efforts to highlight black excellence during Black History Month in 2019, Beyoncé posted on her website about trans activist, writer and director Janet Mock. The star asked fans to keep up with Mock, calling her “one of the most influential activists for trans rights.” The activist later tweeted her gratitude for Beyoncé’s recognition, saying, “When your idol sees and uplifts your black greatness. Thank you Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter.”