On Thursday, pop superstar Britney Spears received the Vanguard Award at the 2018 GLAAD Media Awards in L.A., She joins an elite group of celebrities honored for promoting the equality and acceptance of LGBT people, including Cher, Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Jackson, and Whoopi Goldberg.
 

Spears has long been an ally to the community—participating in Spirit Day, writing a letter opposing Texas’ bathroom bill, and appearing in GLAAD’s “Hands” music video honoring Pulse victims. She’s even sent a personal message to a gay couple who got married at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas before her performance.

“To be able to express yourself as an individual through art is such a blessing,” Spears said in her acceptance speech at the Beverly Hilton. “We can lift each other up and show our gifts without hesitation.”

But the road to full LGBT equality remains long, and there’s lots more a powerful ally like Spears can do. Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Violence

  2. Federal anti-discrimination protections

    With no federal laws protecting sexual minorities from employment discrimination, the workplace can be “toxic” for queer people: In 28 states, including Spears’ home state of Louisiana, you can be fired just for who you are or who you love. Maybe Britney can pay Governor John Bel Edwards a visit next time she visits Kentwood?

  3. Inclusive health care

    Stigma and ignorance often result in LGBT people receiving poor (or no) health care, resulting in shorter life expectancies and higher rates of mental illness and substance abuse.

    As someone who’s struggled in her own life, Britney could be a powerful voice on this issue.

  4. Sex trafficking

  5. Conversion therapy

    In many parts of the world, LGBT people are still forced to undergo archaic and invasive treatment rooted in the belief that homosexuality is a mental disorder. According to the Williams Institute, 57,000 teens in the U.S. alone will undergo conversion therapy before they turn 18. Approximately 20,000—or the number of attendees at a sold-out Britney concert—will be subjected to the ineffective and harmful treatment by licensed health-care professionals.

    Though it’s been discredited by nearly every reputable medical association, conversion therapy is still legal in 39 states. In her acceptance speech, Britney revealed that, “Being a mother has shown me what it means to love unconditionally,” making her perfectly suited to inspire other parents to feel the same.

Congratulations on the honor, Britney. The LGBT community is glad to have you as an ally.

Watch the 2018 GLAAD Media Awards, April 18 at 8/7 on Logo.