The pop icon will attend the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards in April and is set to receive the GLAAD Vanguard Award, which is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBTQ people, EW can exclusively reveal.
“An irrefutable icon, Britney Spears has entertained the world while also embodying the spirit of GLAAD’s Vanguard Award by speaking out on significant issues that face her fans – from the Dream Act to anti-transgender bills in Texas,” says Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD. “She is a force in the music world who has used her global platform to share messages of love and acceptance, something that the world needs today more than ever.”
Previous Vanguard Award honorees include Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg, Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Janet Jackson, Demi Lovato, Eric McCormack, Josh Hutcherson, and Patricia Arquette.
According to GLAAD, Spears has consistently stood up for LGBTQ youth on GLAAD’s Spirit Day by going purple on social media to speak out against bullying. In 2015, she released a Spirit Day video and promoted participation in the anti-bullying campaign by organizing a meet-and-greet for LGBTQ fans, washing her stage at Planet Hollywood purple, and providing anti-bullying materials to concertgoers. In 2016, she was among over 20 music artists to appear on GLAAD’s song “Hands,” released with Interscope Records to remember the 49 lives taken in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. In 2017, Spears was among 140 leading entertainers to speak out in an open letter against two anti-LGBTQ bills, which targeted transgender youth in Texas and were later defeated. Most recently, she sparked global attention when she wore a t-shirt with the phrase “We Are All Dreamers” imprinted on it and she called on Congress to pass the Dream Act via Instagram.
Most recently, for LGBTQ Pride Month in 2017, Spears penned a heartwarming love letter to the LGBTQ community on Billboard Pride in which she shared that the community’s unwavering loyalty and acceptance uplift and inspire her. “I have a secret to share with you. You see it’s actually you that lifts me up. The unwavering loyalty. The lack of judgment. The unapologetic truth. Acceptance! Your stories are what inspire me, bring me joy, and make me and my sons strive to be better people.”
Spears will receive her honor at the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles at Beverly Hilton on April 12. More awards will be given out at a ceremony in New York City on May 5.