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Big Freedia Will Receive PFLAG’s First-Ever ‘Breaking Barriers’ Award at Anniversary Gala

The award celebrates “an individual who uses their platform to help remove obstacles to LGBTQ+ and intersectional equality in pursuit of a more just, equitable, and inclusive world”

Cue the applause for Big Freedia. In a few weeks, the culture-shifting musician will become the first-ever recipient of the Breaking Barriers award at PFLAG‘s 50th-anniversary gala. According to the organization, the honor is presented to individuals using their platform to “help remove obstacles to LGBTQ+ and intersectional equality in pursuit of a more just, equitable, and inclusive world.”

In a statement, Big Freedia – crowned the Queen of Bounce – connected the honor back to her mother. “I know what it is to have unconditional love and affirmation from my mother, Ms. Vera, who was my biggest champion in my life and my career,” she said. “She was what every PFLAG parent strives to be, and is one of the reasons I can be the loud, proud Black, gay, gender fluid advocate I am.”

Earlier this month, Big Freedia shared details about a forthcoming hotel and nightclub she will open in New Orleans next year, continuing to create safe spaces for her community. Last year, she featured prominently on Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul,” the first introduction to Renaissance as a celebration of Black and queer culture.


“Whether it’s making the dance floor a place where every person of every body type is welcome, or it’s being unabashedly herself on the world’s biggest stages as a genderfluid Black and beautiful musician, Big Freedia has used every part of her talent and joy to open doors and break barriers to inclusion,” PFLAG executive director Brian K. Bond shared.

Big Freedia will be honored at the anniversary gala on March 3 at New York’s Marriott Marquis. Amber Ruffin will host the event, featuring appearances from presenters Tati Gabrielle, Eureka, and Rose Abdoo. Robin S., Vincint, Evann McIntosh, and Johnny Manuel will perform.

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