Metro Weekly

Janelle Monae to receive Equality Award at Human Rights Campaign’s 2020 Los Angeles Dinner

Monáe is being honored for her LGBTQ advocacy and contributions to civic engagement

Janelle Monae – Photo: Marc Baptiste.

The Human Rights Campaign will honor singer, songwriter, actor, producer and activist Janelle Monáe with its HRC Equality Award at the 2020 HRC Los Angeles Dinner on Saturday, Mar. 28.

Monáe, who identifies as both pansexual and nonbinary, has been nominated eight times for Grammy Awards, with her most recent album, Dirty Computer, being nominated for Album of the Year and Best Music Video.

Monáe, who has been vocal about the importance of LGBTQ visibility and representation, dedicated Dirty Computer to LGBTQ people struggling to live as their authentic selves, saying in an interview with Rolling Stone: “I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you. This album is for you. Be proud.”

“A highly celebrated and influential artist, Janelle Monáe is an icon who has used her global platform to share a message of celebrating authenticity and embracing all of who we are,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement.

Monáe has recently branched out from music into the world of acting, most recently in the role of Marie Buchanon, a free black woman, in Harriet, about the life of abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman. Her performance earned her a nomination for an NAACP Image Award.

This spring, Monáe will star in her first leading role in the social thriller Antebellum, and her first lead role in a television series when she assumes the role of “Jackie” in the second season of the Amazon series Homecoming. She is also slated to appear in the upcoming Gloria Steinem biopic The Glorias: A Life on the Road, playing Dorothy Pitman Hughes.

Outside of music and film, Monáe serves as co-chair for When We All Vote, an organization dedicated to increasing civic participation in elections, and heads the “Fem the Future” initiative with her artist collective Wondaland, which aims to empower and seek out more creative opportunities for female artists, singers, and actresses.

“Through her activism on initiatives that work to inspire civic engagement and advance gender justice, Janelle has been a guiding force for positive change,” HRC’s David added. “We are incredibly excited to honor Janelle Monáe with the HRC Equality Award at the 2020 Los Angeles Dinner.”

The 2020 HRC Los Angeles Dinner will take place at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown on Saturday, Mar. 28. For tickets and more information, visit www.hrcladinner.com.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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