Melanie B has presented singer Adam Lambert with GLAAD’s top Media Award, and he gave a speech calling on the LGBT community to “unify, and take it further”.
On Saturday, In March, the former Spice Girl presented Lambert with the Davidson/Valentini Awards at the 24th annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco.
The award is given to an openly LGBT media professional who promotes equality for the LGBT community.
The American Idol runner up also shared the Outstanding Music Artis prize with bisexual singer Frank Ocean. In his speech he opened up about being a gay public figure, talked about generational issues faced within the LGBT community, and urged it to come together to push for equality.
He started by saying: “I have to make a speech, I am supposed to just be a singer, but I tried to make a speech, so bear with me. After almost winning American Idol I have become a public figure. An openly-gay public figure, and with that comes a lot of responsibility, and a lot of opinions.
“One person thinks you should be more this, another thinks you should be more that. The label thinks this, the fans think that, your family wishes this. This community wants you to shut up, that community wants it louder. The conservatives, the liberals – what do you want from me?!”
The singer then went on to highlight differences in opinion between different generations, but said that ultimately the LGBT community needs to come together to push things forward.
“At the end of the day it’s not always so black and white; on one hand you have the Stonewall generation who paved the way. They’re proud rebels who have waved the rainbow banner. They have fought for our rights, and brought causes into the light and into the press. On the other hand you have the next generation coming up, and because of the groundwork that’s been laid, they have more than the luxury to say ‘yeah so I’m gay, it’s no big deal, my sexuality does not define me’.
“Now because of increasing visibility, more kids are coming out earlier, and of course we are always going to have our challenges with acceptance, but it has certainly gotten better. So it’s a crucial time, totally crucial, we’re right in the middle of two different generations, with two different perspectives, but one common thread – love.
“With all the differences of opinion within the LGBT community, and elsewhere, the best we can do is to keep it real, and to spread a message of acceptance. If we can inspire only one person to open their mind, or another to be who they want to be, whether thye’re gay, straight old, young, man, woman, black, white, then, its worth being objectified by the sometimes frustrating world of media sensationalism.”
He ended the speech by saying: “Thank you to GLAAD for recognising my efforts, because I put a lot of effort into this; I think about it a lot, it makes me fucking crazy. But my goal is to try to represent both myself and my community proudly. We have come so far, so lets unify in our goals and take it further.”
After the awards, Lambert tweeted asking supporters to donate to GLAAD, and thanking the organisation for honouring him with the award.
— Adam Lambert (@adamlambert) May 12, 2013
After GLAAD announced that Lambert was to receive the award, Norm Kent, the editor and publisher of the South Florida Gay News, called the award “a joke.” Kent claimed in an editorial that Lambert hasn’t done anything to deserve the recognition.
Bill Clinton was a controversial choice for the Advocate for Change award, as he signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law during his presidency.