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Madonna gives emotional speech after being honored at GLAAD Media Awards

Madonna gives emotional speech after being honored at GLAAD Media Awards

Madonna glaad media awards lgbt advocate

Madonna gave an emotional speech at the GLAAD Media Awards after being honored with the Advocate for Change Award.

The organization gave the pop superstar the award for a lifetime of accelerating LGBTI acceptance in pop culture and beyond on Saturday (4 May).

The queer icon was also honored for her HIV and AIDS awareness work during the AIDS crisis. In particular, the inclusion of a ‘Facts about AIDS’ leaflet in her Like Prayer album.

After being introduced by Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna paid tribute to the gay men who had the biggest impacts on her life, and spoke about being an outsider.

She told the crowd: ‘Growing up I always felt like an outsider, like I didn’t fit in. It wasn’t because I didn’t shave under my armpits, I just didn’t fit in.’

The gay men in Madonna’s life

She added: ‘The first gay man I ever met was named Christopher Flynn. He was my ballet teacher in high school and he was the first person that believed in me.

‘That made me feel special as a dancer, as an artist and as a human being. I know this sounds trivial and superficial but he was the first man to tell me I was beautiful.

‘He took me to my first gay club in downtown Detroit. I told my dad I was having a sleepover at a girlfriend’s house – that got me grounded for the rest of the summer.’

Madonna also paid tribute to her friends, who she lost to AIDS-related illnesses.

‘After I lost my best friend and roommate Martin Burgoyne and then Keith Haring, happy birthday Keith, I decided to take up the bull horn and really fight back.’

Madonna has long spoke up for LGBTI rights across the globe. She has performed at many AIDS benefit concerts and challenges anti-LGBTI policies in countries like the US and Russia.

Other award-winners were Pose for Outstanding Drama Series and Andy Cohen for the Vito Russo Award.

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