LOS ANGELES (AP) – Mariah Carey is no stranger to honors and awards, but the pop star said that her GLAAD Ally Award, which she received at the annual event May 14 in New York, was something more.
“Some awards are about statistics and things like that, and some are about like something a little more real. Do you know what I mean?” Carey said on the red carpet. “This feels like one of those moments, so I think it’s great.”
Empire co-creator Lee Daniels presented his longtime best friend and Precious co-star Carey with the honor. “Mariah is one of us,” said Daniels, who is openly gay.
In accepting the award, Carey said with a smirk and a shimmy: “I wish all of you love, peace and harmony, and as my five-year-old son Rocky likes to say, ‘boobies and butts.'”
The 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards was hosted by Laverne Cox, who has been a pioneering force for transgender performers with her role in Orange Is the New Black.
Cox was honored by GLAAD in 2014 for her work as an advocate in the transgender community and spoke passionately about the organization, which works to encourage an accurate, fair representation of the LGBT community in the media and in Hollywood.
“Their work is really, really vital. I believe when we can change the hearts and minds of people about marginalized folks then that can begin to move public policy,” Cox said prior to the show. “I think the way over the past several years we’ve had an unprecedented amount of transgender visibility and look at what has happened this week. The Attorney General of the United States has come out ferociously for transgender rights. The Obama Administration (is) also for the rights of trans students. It’s really incredible.”
Cox’s new show Doubt was just picked up by CBS for series, too and will be the first broadcast series to feature a transgender lead who is played by a transgender actor.
Cox’s Orange is the New Black co-star, Selenis Leyva, said LGBT rights are personal for her because her sister is transgender.
“I think that people have this tendency to feel that it’s only affecting a certain type of community, a certain type of person,” Leyva said. “This is worldwide, and I think that we all have someone who we love, who we respect, who is part of the LGBTQ community.”
Robert De Niro also received the Excellence in Media Award at the event. Jennifer Lawrence, who has co-starred with De Niro in films including Silver Linings Playbook and Joy, presented the award to him.
“If I were a lesbian, I’d be all over you,” De Niro joked. “Being a father figure has its limitations.”
Other awards included outstanding film for the transgender sex comedy/drama Tangerine, and outstanding TV journalism for the 20/20‘s April 2015 interview with Caitlyn Jenner, which was accepted by Diane Sawyer, Jenner and producer David Sloan.
“You can only tell your story the first time once, and it was done perfectly, not just for me but for the community,” Jenner said.