International superstar Jennifer Lopez was honored with GLAAD‘s Vanguard Award at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on April 12.
Jennifer Lopez was introduced and presented with the Vanguard award by non-other than the legendary Actress, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award-recipient Rita Moreno.
In Rita’s introduction of Lopez she said, “Throughout Jennifer’s career she has always been a vocal supporter of the LGBT community speaking out for Marriage equality and family equality and the fight against HIV/AIDS and today with her new show ‘The Fosters.’”
[The Fosters is an ABC Family series which Jennifer Lopez is the Executive Producer. The series follows the lives of a lesbian couple raising a family of biological, adopted and foster children.]
Rita went on to say, “Producing ‘The Fosters’ is Jennifer’s boldest bravery and entertainment factor, The Fosters has Jennifer touch all over it… everything this woman touches is golden.”
After that amazing introduction by the Puerto Rican-Hollywood Legend, Jennifer had penty of wonderful things to say about Rita’s influence on her.
Jennifer Lopez: “I want to say thank you soo much, this is really an honor and can’t tell you what it means to have this awards presented to me by the one and only Rita Moreno.
Anyone whose ever heard me talk of my influences knows that West Side Story and specifically her [Rita Moreno] performance in it had more impact on me than anything else, on my artistic life, my career path and ultimately my confidence. She changed my life!
Watching this beautiful, strong Puerto Rican woman command a screen with her talent in a time when Latina woman did not have every door in this industry open to them made me feel as a little girl watching in her living room, in the Bronx that anything was possible, anything, thank you for that.
Watching Rita in that roll really empowered me, made me feel worthy, made me realize how important and influential the media can be, I think about that now when I do my own work.”
After her gracious acknowledgement of the legendary Actress, Jennifer went on to thank GLAAD and the LGBT community.
“Tonight, I thank GLAAD not only for giving me the Vanguard Award, but for honoring ‘The Fosters’ as the Outstanding Drama of the Year. We are so proud of this show, because our biggest hope is that it’s outstanding because it is doing the same for young people – helping them feel loved, understood, included – as Rita did for me, and as GLAAD does today,” said Lopez.
In her best street slang Lopez also said. “I have to give it up for my lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender fans because they be loyal,”
Lopez continued. “Finally, I really want to thank GLAAD for all of the important, daring, powerful work that you do, not only in mainstream media, but in Spanish-language media too. You all need to know that GLAAD is spreading the message of love and acceptance in English and en Español. ‘El amor es el amor’, love is stronger than hate.”
Watch the introduction by Rita Moreno and Jennifer’s touching acceptance speech here: