June is Gay Pride Month, and Billboard.com has asked various stars to write “love letters” to LGBTQ community. Water Mill’s Jennifer Lopez participated in the project, and her letter is a very touching tribute to her aunt.
“When I was growing up in the Bronx, I always thought my aunt Myrza was the coolest. She lived in NYC and wanted to be an actress. I wanted to be just like her. What I didn’t realize was that she was struggling with being gay,” she writes in her letter. Lopez goes on to talk about The Fosters, a drama series she produces, about an interracial lesbian couple and their children.
This isn’t the first time Lopez has been an advocate for LGBTQ rights and visibility, nor is it the first time she’s mentioned her aunt. When she accepted the GLAAD Vanguard Award in 2014, she dedicated her speech to Myrza:
“[Aunt Myrza] grew up gay in a time when it meant life could be very difficult and that her struggles were mostly kept to herself. It wasn’t until I got older that I really began to know and appreciate all the difficulties she dealt with and the struggles of her community. I also realized the quiet lessons I learned from my family about love, tolerance, and acceptance. We loved her. That was all because of her. So I wanted to do this because I felt that she would be so proud of me. I thought about that a lot when I was doing this. And as I do now. I always think, I bet she would love this. And I know she is proud of me and everybody here. She’s proud of all of us.”
Check Billboard.com for more love letters to the LGBTQ community during the month.