Jennifer Lopez Opens Up About Gay Aunt at GLAAD Awards

Celebrity News Apr. 14, 2014 AT 8:00PM
Jennifer Lopez Jennifer Lopez honored her gay aunt in a speech at the GLAAD Awards on April 12 Credit: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images

Jenny from the block has come a long way — in support of LGBT rights, that is.

Jennifer Lopez took the stage by storm at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday and accepted the Vanguard Award for executive-producing the ABC Family show "The Fosters," which won the GLAAD award for best drama series.

Oscar winner Rita Moreno presented the award to Lopez noting, "It’s ironic that Jennifer Lopez had been so successful as a judge on 'American Idol' because she doesn’t judge."

Clad in a clingy, sheer, sequined Zuhair Murad dress, the 44-year-old mogul took the opportunity to speak out about her late aunt Marisa, who was gay.

"I've always felt a tremendous love from the LGBT community and the LGBT community has always supported me and returned that love," she began before opening up about her beloved family member.

"Marisa was my cool aunt. She was my mom's older sister and she lived in New York City. I lived in the Bronx and she lived in Manhattan—it was like worlds away! She wanted to be an actress and I always wanted to be like her. Marisa grew up gay in a time when it meant life could be very difficult and that her struggles were mostly kept to herself."

J.Lo also added, "If I do anything that makes one child out there feel empowered, then I’ve done my job.

Lopez's main squeeze, Casper Smart, 27, joined her at the special evening. The lovebirds arrived together for the red carpet and were reportedly holding hands as they headed inside the Beverly Hilton for dinner. Though their significant age difference has raised eyebrows from time to time, Lopez and Smart have now been dating over two years (practically eternity by Hollywood standards) and looked quite cozy throughout the soiree.

Related: 2014 GLAAD Media Awards Red Carpet (Los Angeles Edition)

The "On the Floor" singer wasn't the only star opening up at the awards banquet. Ellen Page made her first comments since coming out as gay in February and presented "Orange Is the New Black" star Laverne Cox with the Stephen F. Kolzak honor.

"Many of you know that I officially came out on Valentine’s Day, and one of the best things that came from that is to show support for the people who I admire," the "X-Men: Days of Future Past" actress said.

Additional awards went to "Bridegroom" and "Call Me Kuchu" for the Outstanding Documentary category.

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