Actress Judith Light said in a recent interview that she was inspired by the gay community to be “authentic and courageous.”

The 66-year-old Light can currently be seen playing Shelly Pfefferman on Amazon's transgender drama Transparent and on Broadway in Therese Raquin opposite Keira Knightley.

In an interview with Michigan LGBT weekly Pride Source, Light said that she was surprised by Transparent's success.

“We didn't have any idea,” she said. “Then when the success happened, we were all so grateful for it that we had to make sure when we came back for the second season that we were as responsible as we could possibly be.”

“Lives are at stake. And there are people who are still being thrown out of their homes, and hate crimes are perpetrated against them and they're fired from their jobs because they're transgender. This is 2015. We feel very responsible to do the right thing.”

“How has that message been trasformative for you?” Light was asked.

“This is something that I have looked toward for such a long time,” she answered. “It was the LGBTQ community that inspired me to be the kind of person I wanted to be. I wanted to be authentic and courageous, and for so long I wasn't. When I began doing a lot of advocacy work in the early '80s for HIV and AIDS, I saw the community and the way the community was operating against all odds, against a world and a culture and country that gave them nothing and denigrated them. It was unconstitutional behavior toward the community, and this community just rose up and said, 'We will create places to take our friends who are sick. We will do their funerals. We will take them to the hospital. We will change their IVs and their bedpans, and we will learn.' And the lesbians came in and said, 'Gay men, you are our brothers and we will take care of you,' and the drag queens and the bisexual community and the transgender community – everybody pulled together. I looked at this community and said, 'This is breathtaking. This is the kind of world and people I want to be around. These are the kind of people I want to be working with.'”

“It was sheer unadulterated homophobia. … I wanted to be like the community,” she added.