Los Angeles, Mar 23 (PTI) Actress Kerry Washington has received the Vanguard Award for supporting the LGBT community at the 26th GLAAD Media Awards.
The 38-year-old "Scandal" star was presented the prize by comedienne Ellen DeGeneres at the ceremony held on March 21 at the Beverly Hilton.
Washington said people from LGBT community should be encouraged in Hollywood.
"We need more diverse LGBT representation (in the media). "And this is big ? we need more employment of LGBT people, in front of and behind the camera," she said during her acceptance speech.
Washington said she does not understand when black people tell her they do not believe in gay marriage, as she feels that the LGBT community's current struggles mirror the battle faced by interracial couples 30 years ago.
"We can't say that we believe in each other's fundamental humanity and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each other's existence and the truth of each other's hearts," she said.
"Independence Day" director Roland Emmerich, whose forthcoming drama Stonewall centers on the Stonewall riots staged by New York's gay community in 1969, picked up the Stephen F Kolzak Award from presenter Channing Tatum.
The award honours those, who strive to get rid of homophobia in Hollywood.
ABC's "How to Get Away With Murder" was named outstanding drama series, Amazon's "Transparent" picked up the prize for outstanding comedy series and "The Imitation Game" was selected in the outstanding film category.
In other categories, HBO's "The Normal Heart" was honoured for outstanding TV series or miniseries, "Days of Our Lives" picked up the award for outstanding daily drama, rock band Against Me! was named outstanding music artist.
The New York leg of the awards ceremony takes place May 9 at the Waldorf Astoria New York.