Jennifer Lopez was among those honored at the 25th annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Rita Moreno, the first Hispanic woman to ever win an Oscar, presented the Vanguard Award to Lopez for her work as an executive producer on the ABC Family drama series, The Fosters.
"It's ironic that Jennifer Lopez has been so successful as a judge on American Idol, because she doesn't judge," Moreno said.
Lopez, onstage in a sequined dress by designer Zuhair Murad, explained that she was conflicted about working on The Fosters, which focuses on a lesbian couple raising their twins and foster children.
Lopez said that she listened to her "heart" over her "gut" when she made the decision to work on the show.
“I asked myself, do I do this or do I not do this,” said Lopez. “I’m not going to lie to you. Being in the media, being in the public eye is a bitch sometimes and sometimes you don’t feel like getting beat up that day," she said.
"I’ve always felt tremendous love for the LGBT community and the LGBT community has always supported me and returned that love. That was one reason I wanted to produce this," the 44-year-old singer said.
Lopez also said her Aunt Marisa was an inspiration in her decision to work on The Fosters.
"Tia Marisa was my cool aunt. She was my mom’s older sister. I lived in the Bronx and she lived in Manhattan. Like worlds away. And she wanted to be an actress and I always wanted to be like her," Lopez continued.
"Marisa [was] gay in a time [when] life could be very difficult, and that her struggles were mostly kept to herself. It wasn’t until I got older that I really got to know and appreciate the difficulties that she dealt with and the struggles of her community," Lopez said.
"I also realized the lessons I’ve learned from my family about love, tolerance, and acceptance...So I wanted to do this because I thought that she would be so proud of me. I thought about that a lot when I was doing this and as I do it now...The world is changing and that’s because love is stronger than hate. It’s been proven many times tonight," Lopez said.
Ross Matthews, who hosted the awards ceremony, cracked jokes throughout the evening, and expressed his admiration for Lopez.
"Honey, I’m gay but there’s always room for J.Lo," said Matthews.
"I love you Mami," he said.
Lopez donated $25,000 to GLAAD.
Transgender actress Laverne Cox, who stars in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, was also honored at the event.
Additional awards will be distributed at the GLAAD event in New York on May 3.
Image via YouTube