Beyoncé Fights Back Tears While Honoring Uncle Who Died of HIV in GLAAD Media Awards Speech

The global superstar was visibly moved as she spoke at the annual event.

By Samantha Schnurr Mar 29, 2019 1:15 PMTags
Beyonce, Jay Z, GLAAD Media AwardsYouTube

Beyoncé's 2019 GLAAD Media Awards speech was irreplaceable. 

It wasn't long before the global superstar had guests cheering after taking the stage alongside her famous husband, Jay-Z, to accept the prestigious Vanguard Award on Thursday night in Los Angeles. 

During the star-studded ceremony, the 23-time Grammy-winning songstress told the crowd she was "overwhelmed" as she delivered an impassioned speech following a medley performance by Shangela as well as an introduction from Morris Singletary, Janet Mock, Ty Hunter and Lena Waithe

"We were not expecting any of those incredible presenters and just super honored and overwhelmed. I have already cried. I put a run in my stocking," the mother of three told the crowd as she began.

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"I would say that one of the most beautiful memories from our tour was looking out every night and seeing the hardest gangster trapping out right next to the most fabulous queen, full out, respecting and celebrating each other. That was dope! That's the beauty of great partnership, connecting people who at first glance seem worlds apart," she continued at the event, sponsored by Ketel One Family-Made Vodka.

"Whether it's our fans, or our family, the LGBTQI community has always supported us and lifted us up. We're here to promote love for every human being, and change starts with supporting the people closest to you. So, lets tell them they are loved. Let's remind them they are beautiful. Let's speak out and protect them. And parents, let's love our kids in their truest form."

As the triple threat continued, she made a plea. "We would like to request that we continue to shift the stigma in this community, especially the stigmas in black families, towards accepting queer black and brown family members," she said. 

The star then grew emotional as she honored her late uncle, who passed away from HIV. "‪Lastly, I want to dedicate this award to my Uncle Johnny, the most fabulous gay man that I have ever known...who helped raise me and my sister. He lived his truth. He was brave and unapologetic during a time when this country wasn't as accepting, and witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I've ever lived," she said, her voice beginning to tremble. Jay-Z rubbed her back to comfort her.

"‪I am hopeful that his struggle served to open pathways for other young people to live more freely. LGBTQI rights are human rights. To choose who you love is your human right. How you identify and see yourself is your human right. Who you make love to and take that ass to Red Lobster is your human right," she continued, the audience cheering and laughing. 

‪She then turned her attention to the rapper, telling him, "I just want to say to you, Jay, that I am so proud of you for making incredible strides towards changing stigmas in the hip-hop community. It's a privilege to watch you take those steps and to stand right next to you. I love you and we're super grateful and honored."

GLAAD Media Awards 2019: Complete List of Nominations

The "Story of O.J." star used his time at the microphone to recognize his mother, Gloria Carter, who was honored at last year's ceremony.  

"Life, this journey, is filled with highs, lows, and a lot of learning. This is a momentous night. I also want to, because I didn't get to do it last year, honor my mother, who received the award last year, and follow in her footsteps of spreading love and acceptance and her beautiful speech at the end of the song "Smile," for her allowing me to tell her story," he said. "So, I want everyone to acknowledge that, and her strong message of love who you love and souls that connect."

See more of the night's famous attendees in E!'s gallery below. 

Reporting by Spencer Lubitz

Michelle Kwan, Hayley Kiyoko & Jonathan Van Ness

Name a more iconic trio... we'll wait. 

Gwyneth Paltrow

The Goop founder takes the stage inside the Beverly Hills Hilton.

Lea Michele

The Glee alum makes her first red carpet appearance since marrying Zandy Reich earlier this month.

Adam Rippon

A gold medal moment courtesy of this pro athlete.

Jonathan Van Ness

Yaass, hunty! The Queer Eye star turns out for his 32nd birthday in a silver silk gown and chunky heels. 

Allison Janney, Sean Hayes, Jamie Lee Curtis & Adam Lambert

Party's here!

Meghan Trainor

This pop star is all about that bass, and this modern yellow look!

Jazz Jennings

Flower power! The transgender rights activist is in full bloom on the red carpet.

Jameela Jamil & Tan France

The actress and fashion guru cozy up for photographers.

Antoni Porowski

So suave! The Queer Eye culinary guru suits up for the GLAAD Media Awards.

Michelle Kwan

The Olympic figure skater channels her inner ice queen in a silver sequined mini-dress.

Jameela Jamil

The Good Place star redefines the LBD with combat boots and hot pink eyeshadow.

Pamela Stewart & Lena Waithe

Talk about a Kodak moment.


There's no denying this singing sensation is feeling good as hell tonight!

Erika Jayne

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star is breathtaking in a modern suit and satin pink pumps.

Dita Von Teese

One word: Glam!

Lea Michele & Meghan Trainor

It's ladies night!

Ross Mathews

10's across the board! The RuPaul's Drag Race judge is serving metallic realness.

Allison Janney

Say cheese! The Oscar winner prepares for a night of fun.

Lauren Ash, Nico Santos & Nichole Bloom

Hollywood stars by day, besties by night.

Olivia Munn

We're totally digging her Black Swan vibes.


You better work!

Adam Lambert

New hair, who dis? The Queen frontman showcases his bold style.


A star is born... again!

Melissa Fumero & Stephanie Beatriz

The Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-stars attend in honor of their show's nomination in the Outstanding Comedy Series category. 

Sean Hayes & Scott Icenogle

It's a date night done right for these longtime lovebirds!

Josh Duhamel

The actor steps out in support of the GLAAD Media Awards.

Todrick Hall, Adam Rippon & Jussi-Pekka Kajaala

Say cheese!

Lea DeLaria

The Orange Is the New Black star looks sharp in this monochromatic ensemble.

Rachel Bloom

The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star goes for the gold—quite literally. 

View More Photos From 2019 GLAAD Media Awards: Red Carpet Fashion