The Video Music Awards does not discriminate. On the heels of Donald Trump’s transgender military ban, MTV’s iconic awards show has extended invitations to its annual gala to active duty transgender military troops, according to CNN. The service members’ attendance at the live MTV event will be contingent on military approval and is currently being reviewed.
“MTV has invited transgender members of the U.S. armed forces to the 2017 Video Music Awards and we would be honored if they could attend,” MTV president Christopher McCarthy said in a statement. “Any patriot who is putting their own life at risk to fight for our freedom and stands for equality is a hero at MTV, and to young people everywhere.”
In addition to the open invitation for transgender military personnel, MTV will roll out the red carpet for an 85-year-old drag queen who has been tapped to perform in a musical number with Miley Cyrus. According to USA Today, James “Gypsy” Haake will appear in a super-sized dance number with Cyrus at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. The 85-year-old drag performer, who has appeared in Mel Brooks movies and once counted Lucille Ball and Lana Turner as personal friends, also stars in Miley Cyrus’ recently released “Younger Now” video.
While Miley got herself into hot water after her raunchy “twerking” routine with Robin Thicke at the 2013 VMAs, Haake says the pop singer’s comeback number could be just as wild.
“Wait til you see this on Sunday,” Haake said. “Huge, huge dance number with her with all the seniors. She does kiss me. OK? We’re talking about Miley Cyrus. Of course it gets wild.”
“This place is insane because you’ve got Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and more of those people and it’s hoopla time,” Haake dished.
“(Katy Perry) won’t say anything to me because I wear her eyelashes in the show. She has her eyelashes sold in CVS, so, if she gets too hinky, I’ll just raise my eyebrows and tell her I’m wearing her eyelashes.”
The inclusion of transgender military and a senior citizen drag queen at MTV’s Video Music Awards is not a huge surprise. The former music channel has always been accepting of people of all lifestyles, and the annual awards show has featured its share of political statements from music superstars who deliver passionate speeches. In 2010, Lady Gaga showed up at the Video Music Awards with four soldiers who were either discharged or asked to leave the military over the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
MTV has taken great strides to make the VMAs gender neutral. Several key categories at the long-running awards show, such as Best Male Video and Best Female Video, have been changed to Best Artist. In addition, MTV recently replaced its iconic Moonman trophy with a “Moon Person.”
“Why should this be a man?” McCarthy said, according to Rolling Stone. “It could be a man, it could be a woman, it could be transgender, it could be nonconformist.”
The 2017 MTV Video Music Awards airs live from the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. on Sunday, Aug. 27.
[Featured Image by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]