Chaz Bono was accompanied by his Dancing with the Stars
cast mates as the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network honored the activist and author with their Hero's Award on Friday night.
"We're a very tight group of people," Chaz said of this season's Dancing cast. "We're all so tired, so for people to come out and be here tonight and spend a couple that they could be sleeping or rehearsing -- it's very meaningful."
The honor Chaz accepted at the GLSEN Respect Awards also meant a great deal to him because of the type of outreach that the organization is known for.
"To me [this distinction] is really meaningful because of the work they do with kids," said Chaz. "I work a lot with kids and so much of what's always in the back of my mind is about trying to reach young people so they don't have to wait until they're 40 years old before they can be who they truly are."
Since 1990, GLSEN's focus has been on ensuring safe schools for all students, which is an especially pertinent cause today as nearly one in three LGBT students skips school each month because of safety concerns, according to the organization.
Along with DWTS' Nancy Grace, Hope Solo, Carson Kressley and J.R. Martinez, ET's executive producer Linda Bell Blue and senior broadcast producer Linda Fuller also showed their support by attending the award show.