'My mom has always been a big advocate ... so for me it's always been a part of my soul'
On Saturday night in Los Angeles, actor Josh Hutcherson will become the youngest person ever to be presented with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's Vanguard Award.
The Hunger Games star says he may only be 19, but his commitment to LGBT equality has existed just about all his life.
'My mom has always been a big advocate, especially in the gay, lesbian, transsexual and bisexual community so for me it's always been a part of my soul,' he tells E! Online in an interview posted today (19 April).
The GLAAD award is presented to media professionals who have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community. Hutcherson is one of the founders of Straight But Not Narrow, a campaign working to positively impact the way teens view and treat their LGBT peers.
Two of his uncles were gay but he never had the chance to meet them because both died from AIDS.
'They were in their early thirties, in great shape, but unfortunately they were taken away from us too soon,' he said. 'Both passed away at about the time I was born. … I'd like to think that they see what I'm doing and that they're proud of me.'
'This is what my family is most proud of and the same for me,' Hutcherson adds. 'Acting is one thing, but actually trying to change the world and the way people think to make people's lives better? That's the stuff I'm most proud of.'