BY CANDY PARKER
GLAAD announced Monday that singer, producer and “American Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez will receive this year’s Vanguard Award. The honor is bestowed upon artists and media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Lopez will be recognized not only for her very public and emphatic support of the LGBT community in the media, but for her role as one of the executive producers of the ABC Family series “The Fosters.” Lopez was inspired to become involved with the show by her relationship with her late aunt, a lesbian who faced prejudice because of her sexual orientation.
“Through her work to bring ‘The Fosters’ to life and by consistently speaking out as a powerful ally, Jennifer Lopez has not only sent a message of acceptance to LGBT adults and young people, but inspired new support for our community among her many fans around the globe,” said GLAAD CEO and president Sarah Kate Ellis. “Family is about love, and that’s a message Jennifer has shared with millions through her groundbreaking work on ‘The Fosters.'”
The 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards will be held in Los Angeles on April 12.
“When it comes to gay marriage, I just believe in love,” Lopez told GLAAD. “I believe that when two people find each other and love each other, they should be able to spend their lives together with all the same benefits and privileges as everyone.”
Previous Vanguard award winners include Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Kristin Chenoweth, Whoopi Goldberg, Josh Hutcherson, Janet Jackson, Eric McCormack, Liza Minnelli, Sharon Stone and Elizabeth Taylor.