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GLAAD Awards: Madonna Honoured With ‘Advocate for Change’ Accolade

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In honour of a lifetime of accelerating LGBTQ acceptance in popular culture and beyond, Madonna became the newest recipient of the Advocate for Change Award at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards ceremony, on Saturday.

“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,” Madonna, 60, said in her acceptance speech, after being introduced by A League of Their Own costar Rosie O’Donnell.

In her speech, the singer also paid tribute to her first dance teacher and mentor.

“The first gay man I ever met was named Christopher Flynn,” she said. “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 that I was beautiful.”

Madonna went on to pay tribute to her other deceased close friends.

“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 said.

GLAAD is the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer media advocacy organization.

Other honorees at the event, hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race alum and A Star Is Born‘s Shangela, included Andy Cohen, Don Lemon, Janelle Monáe, Samantha Bee and the FX series Pose.

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