Britney Spears to be honored for support of gay community

FILE PHOTO: Britney Spears performs at iHeartRadio Jingle Ball concert at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California U.S., December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop star Britney Spears will be honored for her support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community at an awards ceremony this year, advocacy group GLAAD said on Tuesday.

The GLAAD Vanguard Award is given to media personalities who have promoted equality and acceptance of LGBTQ people, GLAAD said. Previous winners include Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Taylor and Whoopi Goldberg.

Spears is a longtime supporter of the gay and transgender community, GLAAD said in a statement. She has spoken out against bullying of LGBTQ youth, publicly opposed bills in Texas that would have restricted transgender rights and participated in a musical tribute that honored the victims of the 2016 mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

She has also supported gay marriage, and last year wrote an open “love letter” to the LGBTQ community that read: “Your stories are what inspire me, bring me joy, and make me and my sons strive to be better people.”

Spears will receive the Vanguard Award at the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards on April 12 in Beverly Hills, California.

Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Susan Thomas