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Jane Lynch Says She's 'Not Part of' a Hollywood Gay Mafia, but Jokes Jennifer Coolidge Is 'Probably the Queen'

The 'Glee' alum told PEOPLE in jest at the Santa Barbara Film Festival's Virtuosos Awards that "they haven't let me in"

<p>Presley Ann/Getty; Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty</p> Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge

Presley Ann/Getty; Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty

Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge

Jane Lynch is happy to bow down to longtime friend and former on-screen flame Jennifer Coolidge.

Lynch, 63, joked with PEOPLE at Saturday's Santa Barbara Film Festival's Virtuosos Awards that she's personally "not part of" any "gay mafia" in Hollywood.

"They haven't let me in, OK," she kidded. "But I think Jennifer is, if there is a gay mafia. Even though she's not gay, she's in it and she's probably the queen."

"The Queen? Yes. She's the queen of the gay mafia, not drag queen. Just a queen," Lynch added.

Related: Jennifer Coolidge Jokes She's 'Surrounded by Gays' Before Receiving GLAAD Award from Jane Lynch

<p>Tibrina Hobson/Getty </p> Jane Lynch speaks at the Virtuosos Award in February 2024

Tibrina Hobson/Getty

Jane Lynch speaks at the Virtuosos Award in February 2024

Lynch's comments come just a month after Coolidge — who played her love interest in 2000's Best in Showthanked "all the evil gays" as a nod to her White Lotus character Tanya McQuoid during her Emmy acceptance speech for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series.

Last March, Lynch also presented the 62-year-old star with GLAAD's Special Recognition Award at the 34th annual GLAAD Media Awards.

After joking that she was "surrounded by gays" to open the show, Coolidge was celebrated by Lynch for being "pro-gay before it was cool to be pro-gay."

Lynch continued, "She is one of us, ladies and gentlemen, and I have always said that the world has to catch up to Jennifer Coolidge. And the world has caught up to Jennifer Coolidge! One of the best, ladies and gentleman!"

Related: Jennifer Coolidge on Life as a Surprise Superstar: 'People Like That I'm the Underdog'

At the show, Coolidge explained that she has "so much respect for the LGBTQ community and I just want you all to know that I love you and I thank you for always being there for me."

"We all have a right to be who we are and to love the people that we love and tell our stories and celebrate that in every way that we can," she said.

<p>Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty</p> Jennifer Coolidge at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards

Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty

Jennifer Coolidge at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards

Related: Jennifer Coolidge Would Use 'Terrible Things' Patrons Said to Her as a Waitress for Comedy Skits

Saturday's SBFF Virtuosos Awards also celebrated America Ferrera, Andrew Scott, Lily Gladstone, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Greta Lee and Charles Melton.

And while Lynch buzzed about her friend Coolidge, honoree and Barbie star Ferrera, 39, geeked out on stage about idol Tom Hanks.

Ferrera specifically opened up about the moment when Hanks, 67, congratulated her on her recent performance. Ferrera earned a 2024 Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category for her work in Barbie.

"I don't know that I'm ready to talk about it. I'm not ready to talk about what he said, but I guess whenever anyone asks me, who were the actors you grew up wanting to be? I'd say Tom Hanks," Ferrera said. "I wanted to be Tom Hanks more than any other actor. I did. He's every man. He's like, we all see ourselves in him, right?"

"He came up to me at an event and he said very nice things to me and I'm still recovering from it," she recalled, "and that was truly the moment where I felt like … 'OK, I'm happy, I can tap out now, Tom Hanks just said nice things to me.'"

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