Pop icon accepted the advocate for change award and gave both a playful and emotional speech, bringing the audience to its feet
Madonna, a pioneer for gay rights, accepted the advocate for change award at the 2019 Glaad media awards, with a rousing speech that went from playful to emotional, bringing the audience to its feet.
The 60-year-old pop icon turned heads as she walked to her table at a Hilton hotel in New York on Saturday night, before taking the stage to celebrate her three decades of advocacy work for LGBT equality.
Why have I always fought for change? Thats a hard question to answer. Its like trying to explain the importance of reading or the need to love. Growing up I always felt like an outsider, like I didnt fit in. It wasnt because I didnt shave under my armpits, I just didnt fit in, OK? she said.
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.
Madonna went on to say Flynn took her to her first gay club in Detroit, and that the evening changed her life.
For the first time I saw men kissing men, girls dressed like boys, boys wearing hot pants, insane, incredible dancing and a kind of freedom and joy and happiness that I had never seen before, she said. I finally felt like I was not alone, that it was OK to be different and to not be like everybody else. And that after all, I was not a freak. I felt at home, and it gave me hope.
Madonna also said Flynn pushed her to leave Michigan and go to New York to pursue her dreams. And when she arrived in the Big Apple in 1977, she was in awe with all New York had to offer diversity, creativity but she also learned about the AIDS epidemic.
The plague that moved in like a black cloud over New York City and in a blink of an eye, she said and snapped her fingers, took out all of my friends.
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