Jennifer Beals has received the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) Champion Award.

GLSEN works to create a safe space in schools for children who are or may be perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Beals is best known on television for her portrayal of Bette Porter on the groundbreaking Showtime lesbian drama The L Word, which ended in 2009. She reprised her role in The L Word: Generation Q.

Beals' The L Word: Generation Q castmates Leisha Hailey and Kate Moenning as well as showrunner Ilene Chaiken presented Beals with the award.

“[Beals] has devoted countless hours and funds as an activist and ally to the LGBTQ community, participating in numerous GLSEN events and campaigns, speaking up on behalf of the community, and even using her birthday to hold fundraisers for GLSEN,” Hailey said from her home.

“She has a deep commitment to making this world a better place for the next generation,” Moennig said.

In her acceptance speech, Beals said that everyone deserves a “quality education where they are respected and included.”

“The reality is that equality and inclusion aren't just LGBTQ issues. They affect the entire soul of a school, of a community, because fundamentally what we're talking about is the sanctity of authenticity,” she added.