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GLAAD Awards: Jennifer Lopez pays tribute to her gay aunt

Singer Jennifer Lopez attends the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for GLAAD

Jennifer Lopez was honored with the Vanguard Award at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday night. While the "American Idol" judge and pop star was notarized for her contributions in supporting LGBT rights, Lopez took time to pay tribute to some influential to her. As E! News reports on April 13, Lopez opened up about her gay aunt during her acceptance speech.

Lopez was the center of attention as soon as she hit the red carpet with the latest man in her life, Casper Smart. The 44-year-old showed off her glamour, wearing a sexy blue and black dress showing off her features. Once the awards ceremony kicked off, J-Lo was the center of a hilarious joke by GLAAD awards host Ross Matthews who joked, "honey, I'm gay but there's always room for J.Lo!"

But once the laughter and fun died down, J.Lo became the focus of what the night was about. Later in the night she accepted the Vanguard Award, opening up about the support and love the LGBT community has shown her and also opening up about her late gay aunt Marisa.

"Marisa was my cool aunt. She was my mom's older sister and she lived in New York City. I lived in the Bronx an 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's tribute to her aunt shed light on what inspired her dedication to the LGBT community. She saw up close and personal the struggle her aunt went through at a time when acceptance was at its most difficult. The experiences of her aunt really sparked her dedication in helping others in their fight for equality.

It was a big night overall for Lopez. Not only did she receive the Vanguard award, the ABC Family drama, "The Fosters" took home the award for outstanding drama series. Lopez serves as the executive producer for the show about a lesbian couple raising children from different backgrounds. J.Lo expressed how proud she is on the show and the message it sends.

"We are so proud of this show, because our biggest hope is that it's outstanding because it is doing the same for young people-helping them feel loved, understood, included - as Rita (Moreno) did for me, and as GLAAD does today."

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