The 60-year-old icon was honored with the ‘Advocate for Change’ Award at the GLAAD Awards on Saturday. Rosie O’Donnell introduced her. The two women starred together in A League of Their Own. Madonna began her speech by talking about feeling antisocial as a child and while growing up.
She said, “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”. The singer also talked about her first dance teacher, who she said: “was the first person that believed in me”. Addressing the topic, 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.”
She added, “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. He took me to my first gay club in downtown Detroit. I told my dad I was having a sleepover at a girlfriend’s house – that got me grounded for the rest of the summer.”
She also said that she began fighting for LGBTQ rights after two of her close friends passed away, saying, “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 has now said that she is fighting ageism in the music industry.
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