Madonna was on hand at the 2013 GLAAD Media Awards to present the organization’s prestigious Vito Russo Award to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who came out last year. (Film historian Vito Russo, who passed away in 1990, was one of the first in the industry to recognize and raise awareness of the importance of how the LGBT community is portrayed in the media.) Madonna did not disappoint with her speech, nor did she disappoint with her attire, as she wore a slightly modified boy scout uniform to present the award.
Here is a video of her entire speech followed by a transcript of what she said:
So happy to be here. I wanted to be a boy scout but they wouldn’t let me join. I think that’s f***ed up. I can build a fire. I know how to pitch a tent. I have a very good sense of direction. I can rescue kittens from trees.
Listen, I want to do good for the community. And most importantly, I know how to scout for boys.
So I think that I should be allowed to be a boy scout, and I think that they should change their stupid rules. Don’t you? Yeah? You guys don’t sound excited enough. Don’t you think they should change their rules?
Alright, so — you may sit down. Please relax. I have a few axes to grind.
I’m not going to talk until you’re all sitting. I want you nice and cozy in your seats. I brought a book in case you take too long and I need to read.
Well, I was a girl scout, but I got kicked out. And you want to know why? Because my skirt was too short, and I never sold enough cookies. I ate the cookies. Those peanut butter patties are good. Anyway, we already talked about that.
And it’s no different — it’s no different than a white supremacist hanging a black man from a tree before the civil rights movement. OK? It’s no different. It’s no different than a member of the Taliban shooting a young girl in the head for writing a blog about the importance of [getting an?] education. It’s no crazier than an Iranian gay man being hanged for falling in love with a man.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t take this sh!t any more. And that is why I want to start a revolution. Are you with me? It’s 2013 people. We live in America — land of the free and home of the brave? That’s a question, not a statement.
But, I do love that word brave. I don’t fling it around very often. I don’t know a lot of brave people. In the song you just heard, I sing the line, “it’s so hard to find someone to admire,” and that is the reason I am here — to give an award to someone I admire, to acknowledge someone who is brave. Someone who has made a difference in the world by promoting equality and giving a voice to the LGBT community. I am here to honor you, Anderson Cooper.
Now you can stand up!