By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com April 13 2014 1:00 PM ET
Jennifer Lopez opened up Saturday about what she learned from her lesbian aunt while receiving GLAAD's Vanguard Award for producing The Fosters, a show she said is dedicated to her aunt's memory.
Lopez said that when she was first pitched the idea for The Fosters, which tells the story of a family with two moms, she realized adding her celebrity and money to get it made would make a difference but still had reservations. "I'm not going to lie to you," she said while accepting the award, "being in the media, being in the public eye, it's a bitch sometimes. And sometimes you don't feel like being beat up that day."
Lopez said she went ahead with the project on ABC Family because "I decided to listen to my heart and my gut." She was thinking of her mother's sister, her "cool aunt," who lived in Manhattan while she lived in the Bronx. "Worlds away," she kidded.
Lopez said her aunt's "struggles were mostly kept to herself" and she only learned about her being gay when getting older. But on reflection, she said her family had modeled acceptance. "I also realized the quiet lessons I had learned from family about love, tolerance, and acceptance."
Now Lopez says she will keep standing up for her LGBT fans. "Love is love," she said, in English and Spanish. "And that's why I have always stood up for marriage equality and family equality and I always will."
The Fosters won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series on Saturday. In their acceptance speech, the show's creators said Lopez's aunt has been their "guardian angel" throughout the project.
Watch Lopez's speech in the video below following an introduction by Rita Moreno: