Kelly Ripa Gives Inspiring Speech at 2015 GLAAD Media Awards

PHOTO: Kelly Ripa speaks on stage at 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards In New York on May 9, 2015 in New York City. Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Kelly Ripa speaks on stage at 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards In New York on May 9, 2015 in New York City.

Kelly Ripa was honored with the Excellence in Media Award at the 26th GLAAD Media Awards in New York City and the co-host of "Live With Kelly and Michael" gave an impassioned speech about equality and acceptance.

Ripa, 44, spoke at the awards ceremony Saturday night about how being close friends with the likes of Anderson Cooper, who introduced the talk show host, makes her three children -- Michael, Lola and Joaquin -- much better human beings.

"I feel it's kind of odd in a way, I should be given an award based on the fact that I've had the privilege of being surrounded by and influenced by this community [LGBT] my entire life," she said. "And that I should be celebrated for treating people like people."

Watch the full speech below.

Other highlights from the night, hosted by Ross Matthews, include:

"Transparent" stars Jeffrey Tambor and Judith Light spoke about the "responsibility" of being part of a groundbreaking and Emmy Award winning show about the transgender community.

"We are so honored to be part of this change and this revolution," said Tambor, who stars as transgender parent Maura Pfefferman on the show.

The biggest applause and surprise of the night came when "Wonder Woman" star Lynda Carter took the stage -- and yes, she did her heroic twirl -- to introduce her friend MSNBC news anchor Thomas Roberts, who accepted the Vito Russo Award for promoting equality in the gay community. Roberts came out as gay in 2006.

Game-changing and openly gay pro athletes Michael Sam and Jason Collins took the stage to join in as Sports Illustrated was honored with outstanding overall magazine coverage.

"Orange is the New Black" star Laverne Cox spoke not only about the LGBT community but "all communitites, from Baltimore to Ferguson."

"Although trans people are more visible than ever, visibility is only one part of the equation," she said. "We must still fight for LGBTQ rights in the workplace ... and for protection from violence that devastates LGBTQ people and trans women, particularly trans women of color in horrific numbers."

The event was presented by Ketel One and Calvin Burwell, head of marketing for Diageo North America, said: "These nights ... you get to see for a moment the full diversity and splendor of the LGBT community, all the allies.

"This is the year everything changes," he continued. "This is the tipping point … it's not just LGBT people fighting for equality, it's all of the millions of allies. The fact that the Supreme Court is going to rule on marriage equality this year, that probably is the largest symbol of the progress that we've made."