Colton Haynes Accepts Human Rights Campaign Award

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Colton Haynes came out as gay in May.

The actor did so in an interview with Entertainment Weekly following months of speculation over his sexuality.

“It took me so long to get to this point, but I’m doing so good,” Haynes said at the time, adding:

"I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and healthier than I’ve ever been, and that’s what I care about."

Colton Haynes Pic

Since then, Haynes has been applauded for his openness and his honesty, which continued in a feature article in Out Magazine.

The Arrow star admitted to the publication that his dead killed himself back when Haynes was a teenager because he believed his son was gay.

Over the weekend, meanwhile, the former Teen Wolf star received the Human Rights Campaign's Visibility Award, which he accepted with a tearful, heartfelt speech.

We've shared it below.

"I've experienced a lot of 'wow' moments in my life," he said to open. "But I think tonight, it's probably topping all of them."

Haynes continued:

"My coming out was a bit splashy for many people...That's just how entertainment works. It makes a bigger deal out of everyone's personal decisions."

However, the 28-year noted that he never "made the decision" to be gay. That's not how it works.

Instead, it came just as "naturally as the color" of his eyes and this explains why he felt at home among the LGBT advocates of the evening.

Colton Haynes OUT Cover

"Tonight I can actually be myself for the first time, and it feels incredible," he said.

"I feel lucky just knowing we have such a strong, fierce, united community that believes as I do that equality is our birthright. It's not a slogan."

Haynes went on to basically say the haters can keep hating, but they won't stop him.

They won't get in his way when it comes to remaining positive and sharing the message of equality for all.

"My promise is simple and real, and I'm not making it to you," he said, explaining:

"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."

Pretty profound stuff.

We salute you, Colton Haynes.

And we encourage all readers to watch his speech in full:

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