A surprised Ellen DeGeneres welcomed Betty White to the gay community during her opening monologue at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's (GLAAD) 23rd annual Media Awards in Los Angeles.

DeGeneres signaled to White, who was seated in the audience, during the show's opening.

“I am very happy to be here for GLAAD. Of course GLAAD is an acronym for gays and lesbians who couldn't get tickets to Coachella. I think,” she joked.

“I heard that Betty White is here. Betty White is here. Somewhere. I did not know you were gay. Welcome sister. Wonderful.”

“I think all of us being here today proves one thing. It proves that it's possible to have a gay awards show that is not hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. It's rare, but it's possible.”

“I don't come downtown a lot but I wanted to be here because I'm so proud of the work GLAAD does. GLAAD does amazing work. And with their help we've made a lot of progress this year. Gay marriage is now legal in 6 states. Which means we now only have 32 left to go. We're on TV more than ever. We're on commercials. We're on magazines. We're on all over the media. And that's just my JCPenney campaign.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

(Related: Josh Hutcherson presented with gay advocacy award by Benicio del Toro.)