Global superstar Jennifer Lopez will be honored at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, it was announced today. E! Online's Marc Malkin broke the news.
Lopez will receive GLAAD's Vanguard Award, which is presented to artists and media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Past recipients include Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Kristin Chenoweth, Whoopi Goldberg, Josh Hutcherson, Janet Jackson, Eric McCormack, Liza Minnelli, Sharon Stone and Elizabeth Taylor.
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Jennifer Lopez is a musician, actress, entrepreneur and television personality. She is one of the Executive Producers of ABC Family's The Fosters, which is a GLAAD Media Award-nominated drama series about a lesbian couple raising a family of biological, adopted, and foster children. Lopez's inspiration for producing The Fosters came from her late aunt, who faced prejudice because of her sexual orientation and was unable to have her own family. She saw the series as an opportunity to create change and tell the story of an authentic and loving family that happens to have two moms at its helm.
She can currently be seen as a judge on American Idol, which, for the first time, featured an openly gay competitor, MK Nobilette.
Jennifer Lopez has been a strong advocate of LGBT visibility in entertainment media, as well as a strong supporter of marriage equality, saying "when it comes to gay marriage, I just believe in love. 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."
"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 & 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."
Additional special guests for the Los Angeles event include: Kelly Osbourne; Sherri Saum, Teri Polo (The Fosters); Shane Bitney Crone, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (Bridegroom); Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall, John "Long Jones" Abdallah Wambere (Call Me Kuchu); GLAAD National Spokespersons, Wilson Cruz and Omar Sharif, Jr., and GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis. Additional honorees, presenters, and LGBT advocates will be announced.
In January, GLAAD announced 93 nominees in 20 English-language categories, and 37 Spanish-language nominees in nine categories. Nominees for the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards can be found here: http://www.glaad.org/mediaawards/nominees. The New York GLAAD Media Awards ceremony will take place on May 3 at the Waldorf Astoria New York.