Jennifer Coolidge may have taken home numerous accolades throughout award season, but her surprise appearance at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles was markedly special. “The White Lotus” star kicked off the show on March 30, welcoming guests with a hilarious speech in true Jennifer Coolidge fashion and with a nod to her line from the HBO series. “Here I am again surrounded by gays,” she began, wearing a glamorous black gown and a sparkly headpiece. “Wow, it’s the story of my life.”
“We all have the right to be who we are and to love the people we love.”
Humor aside, Coolidge spoke about the importance of media that “helps the world understand and accept the LGBTQ+ community.” “I thank you for always being there for me,” she said. “That’s why I’m here. I want to give back. I believe we all have the right to be who we are and to love the people we love and to tell our stories and to celebrate that in whatever way we can.”
Amid her speech, GLAAD had another surprise in store for the audience. Coolidge’s longtime friend and former “Best in Show” costar Jane Lynch joined her on stage to present the social impact award. Lynch embraced a very shocked Coolidge, as the “Glee” actor shared sweet words about her friend.
“This wonderful woman here was pro-gay before it was cool to be pro-gay,” Lynch said. “She is one of us ladies and gentleman. I have always said the world has to catch up to Jennifer Coolidge and the world has caught up to Jennifer Coolidge.” The SAG award-winner appeared genuinely touched by the honor, repeatedly saying, “Wow.”
After a whirlwind award season in which Coolidge snagged honors at the Emmys, SAGs, Golden Globes, and Critics’ Choice Awards for her role as Tanya in “The White Lotus,” Lynch’s words ring true: it seems the world has finally caught up to the actor and her epic talents. Watch the heartwarming speeches in full ahead, and see more photos of Coolidge’s night at the GLAAD Awards.