2019 GLAAD Awards: Madonna, 60, thanks LGBTQ community in emotional speech

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Madonna gave an emotional speech at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards as she accepted the Advocate for Change Award.

The singer, 60, has long been a pioneer in advocating for LGBT rights and in her speech, spoke of finding acceptance in the gay community at a time when she felt like she did not 'fit in'.     

Madonna attended the star-studded event at the Hilton Midtown in New York on Saturday night.

Honour: Madonna gave an emotional speech at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards as she accepted the Advocate for Change Award

Honour: Madonna gave an emotional speech at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards as she accepted the Advocate for Change Award

Accepting her award, she said: 'Why have I always fought for change? That's a hard question to answer. It's like trying to explain the importance of reading or the need to love. 

'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, OK. 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, 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 I was beautiful.'

Speech: The singer, 60, has long been a pioneer for LGBT rights and in her speech, spoke of finding acceptance in the gay community at a time when she felt like she did not 'fit in'

Speech: The singer, 60, has long been a pioneer for LGBT rights and in her speech, spoke of finding acceptance in the gay community at a time when she felt like she did not 'fit in'

Madonna told how Christopher encouraged her to move to New York City and pursue her dreams of being in the music industry.

He also took her to her first gay club where she no longer felt like an outsider. 

He said: 'For the first time I saw men kissing men, girls dressed like boys, boys wearing hot pants, insane, incredible dancing and a kind of freedom and joy and happiness that I had never seen before.

'I finally felt like I was not alone, that it was OK to be different and to not be like everybody else. And that after all, I was not a freak. I felt at home, and it gave me hope.

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 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: 'I know this sounds trivial and superficial, but he was the first man to tell me I was beautiful'

She added: 'I know this sounds trivial and superficial, but he was the first man to tell me I was beautiful'

Pals: Madonna embraced actress and comedian Rosie O'Donnell, who spoke about how she sought advice from Madonna when she wanted to come out

Pals: Madonna embraced actress and comedian Rosie O'Donnell, who spoke about how she sought advice from Madonna when she wanted to come out 

After moving to New York, Madonna learned about the AIDS epidemic.

'The plague that moved in like a black cloud over New York City and in a blink of an

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