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Jennifer Lopez and Orange is the New Black’s transgender actress Laverne Cox were among the night’s honorees at the 25th annual Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Chaz Bono, Kevin Huvane, Johnny Galecki, Naomi Campbell and Lupita Nyong’o were on hand to show their support for what CEO Sarah Kate Ellis described as GLAAD 2.0. “It’s a whole new world for us,” the exec said.
Actress Ellen Page made her first public comments since coming out while presenting the Stephen F. Kolzak award to Cox. “Many of you know that I officially came out on Valentine’s Day,” said Page. “One of the best things about it was the way it enabled me to publicly show support for the people who inspire me and give me courage.”
Cox, who’s producing the documentary Free Cece about Chrishaun Reed “CeCe” McDonald, spoke on the progress being made in the LGBT community. She was later joined onstage by her mother, who presented her with flowers.
“I’m an African-American transgender woman from a working-class background raised by a single mother,” said Cox. “We are not programmed to think we should receive these kind of awards, but I’d like to think that things are changing.”
Cox, who received a GLAAD Media Award in 2009 for starring in VH1’s I Want to Work for Diddy, also shared what she has in common with Lopez, who previously was in a relationship with Diddy. “I’d like to think about after doing that show that Jennifer Lopez and I both have some memories with Diddy that we’re trying to forget,” Cox said.
Host Ross Matthews kept the jokes coming throughout the night as he expressed his admiration for Lopez. “Honey, I’m gay but there’s always room for J.Lo,” said Matthews. “I love you Mami.”
Actress and singer Rita Moreno presented the Vanguard Award to Lopez, remarking on Lopez’s actions in welcoming the first openly lesbian contestant on American Idol. “It’s ironic that Jennifer Lopez has been so successful as a judge on American Idol because the woman in real life does not judge,” said Moreno.
Lopez expressed her hesitance to work on Fosters, which focuses on a lesbian couple raising their twins and foster children. “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.”
Lopez, Huvane and Galecki each donated $25,000 to GLAAD. Additional awards will be presented at the New York City event on May 3.
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