On August 27, Teen Wolf and Arrow actor Colton Haynes was awarded the Human Right Campaign’s Visibility Award for his coming out last spring, and the actor was noticeably wrought with emotion during his teary-eyed, five-minute speech.
Haynes, 28, was the first to admit he didn’t feel “especially deserving” of the recognition quite yet, dedicating his speech, instead, to the advocates who inspire him to live openly. “We all know that there are many other ways, many other people who have come before me and blazed the trail as LGBT advocates and role models. And I’m walking in their shoes and I’m following their lead.”
He also lauded the HRC for their continued efforts, especially on behalf of young people. “You guys inspire me more than you’ll ever know. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point, and I thank the HRC for the continued support.”
“My promise is simple and real, and I’m not making it to you,” Haynes said of his new commitment to the gay community. “I’m making it to the next generations of lesbians and gay men, bisexuals, and transgender youth, and I hope my example will give them the confidence and hope to be who they are as well.”
Watch Colton Haynes’ touching acceptance speech, below: