Josh Hutcherson says he's never been more proud in his life than being honored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation with its Vanguard award Saturday night.
Hutcherson received a standing ovation from the audience before he began his speech, in which he shared that his work for equality was inspired by his mother, whose two uncles Steve and Jamie, who were gay and died of AIDS around the time he was born. "They were a huge influence to my mom," he said. "They are very much a part of me and everything I believe in. The actor also received cheers when he said he's tired of using the words gay and lesbian. "We're just people," he said. "One day I want my son to come home from school and say 'I found this guy and I love him' and I'll say, 'Yes you do and that's OK."
The 19-year-old star of hit films such as The Hunger Games and The Kids Are All Right is the youngest-ever recipient to receive the honor, which GLAAD awards to media professionals who "have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community." Hutcherson received the honor for co-founding the Straight But Not Narrow campaign, created to help end homophobia among young people. During his acceptance speech, Hutcherson also gave shout outs to SBNN cofounders Avan Jogia, Andre Pochon, and Heather Wilk. Academy Award-winner Benicio Del Toro, who directed Hutcherson in a short film titled 7 Days in Havana, presented the award to the actor during the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.