Beyonce Releases Tour Film In Honour Of Her Late Gay Uncle

Beyonce Releases Tour Film In Honour Of Her Late Gay Uncle
Image: Beyoncé/Instagram

World-renowned singer and performer Beyoncé releases her “Renaissance” Tour film, dedicating it to her late gay Uncle Johnny.

The film was released worldwide on Friday, December 1, intentionally coinciding with World AIDS Day to honour her uncle who died from the disease.

“Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” is a documentary-style collection of live performances from her ‘Renaissance World Tour’ in the US and Europe, between May and October this year.

‘LGBTQI Rights Are Human Rights’

Beyonce spoke at the film’s premiere in London on Friday, saying “I’m really proud this film is coming out on December 1st, World AIDS Day, in honour of Uncle Johnny.”⁠

Beyonce described her uncle as being “brave and unapologetic during a time when this country wasn’t as accepting.”

During a speech at the GLAAD Vanguard Awards in 2019, she continued, “Witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever experienced.”

“I’m hopeful that his struggle served to open pathways for other young people to live more freely. LGBTQI rights are human rights,” she continued.

Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles (left) and uncle Johnny. Image: Instagram

The tour and subsequent film follows Beyonce’s 6th studio album “Renaissance” released in July 2022, with Beyoncé saying it’s an album about overcoming adversity and celebrating life.

Celebrating Queer Subcultures

The music within the album and film takes influence from a variety of genres, mainly R’n’B and hip hop, but also ‘voguing’ music from American Queer Ball Culture.

Beyoncé also ensured to collaborate with many Black Queer creators for the album and her tour.

GLAAD Vice President of Communications and Talent Anthony Allan Ramos says the film “exemplifies Beyoncé’s commitment to use her global platform to spotlight, uplift and pay tribute to the Black LGBTQ community.”

“In the film, Beyoncé [memorialised] these people who were often victims of violence and lost to AIDS by spotlighting the many LGBTQ creatives of today who have influenced her, yet have previously not received the praise and recognition that they deserve,” Ramos explains.

There were multiple LGBTQI collaborators on the project, including DJ Honey Dijon, Rapper Big Frieda and media personality TS Maddison.

She also featured legendary names from the Ballroom scene, including drag performer Kevin Aviance and vocalist Kevin JZ Prodigy. Both artists are also featured in the new film.

Throughout the tour, a number of her professional Vogue dancers joined her as background dancers. Performers Honey Balenciaga, Carlos Irizarry, Cha Cha Balenciaga, and many others are from legendary dance groups and are given a spotlight during the film.

“Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” is now available to watch in cinemas across Australia. To look at showtimes, click here.

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