BRITNEY SPEARS has thanked the LGBTQ community for its love as she was honoured by leading gay rights advocates.

The singer, 36, was presented with Glaad’s vanguard award for promoting equality by Ricky Martin, who praised her as an “ally” to the gay community.

“I feel like our society puts such an emphasis on what’s ‘normal’ and to be ‘different’ is unusual or seen as strange”, Spears told the audience at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton hotel on Thursday night.

Martin, 46, praised the “artist, fighter and friend” before handing her the award.