Beyoncé’s BeyGood Foundation Helps LGBTQ+ Legends Bring Ballroom Culture To Las Vegas
Beyoncé continues to be a committed ally to the LGBTQ+ community. Though many consider her latest album Renaissance to be an ode to Black ballroom and queer culture, the superstar singer has also put her money where her fans can feel it most.
During a two-night stop of her massively successful Renaissance World Tour in Las Vegas, the 41-year-old icon’s charity, BeyGood, helped to bring the first-ever Human Rights Campaign Equality Ball to the desert. The iconic event took place on Sunday, August 27 at KAOS Nightclub in Palms Casino Resort and featured celebrated legends of the Black ballroom scene. Among those in attendance were Lena Giroux Zakalik, as well as Carlos Irizarry and Stephanie “Packrat” Whitfield; who all worked to executive produce the one-of-a-kind spectacular.
“I have been wanting to bring an authentic ball culture and community here to Las Vegas,” said Giroux Zakalik. “Carlos is on tour right now with Beyoncé. He is one of the contributing choreographers. We had a conversation about six months ago that they would be here on Aug. 27. Usually, a ball of this magnitude would take a year to plan, but it was an opportunity that we couldn’t miss. I called in my resources at the Human Rights Campaign, and then Beyoncé got word of it, and it landed on her charity’s ears, BeyGood. They decided to partner up with us and give us the funds that we needed to do this.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Equality Ball is a safe space for self-expression and a celebration of Black queer ballroom culture, but it also provides much- needed community services such as HIV testing and voter registration, as well as additional ways to get involved with local LGBTQ+ programs and initiatives.
Fans of Queen Bey have seen her proudly pay homage to the queer mentors in her life; namely her Uncle Johnny, who she thanked while accepting the GLAAD Vanguard award in 2019.
“I want to dedicate this award to my Uncle Johnny, the most fabulous gay man I’ve ever known, who helped raise me and my sister,” she said. “He lived his truth. He was brave and unapologetic during a time when this country wasn’t as accepting and, witnessing his battle with HIV, was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever lived. I’m hopeful that his struggles serve to open pathways for other young people to live more freely. LGBTQI rights are human rights.”