The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) honored
actor Colton Haynes with its Visibility Award over the weekend in
In accepting the award, Haynes, 28,
pledged to be a role model to LGBT youth.
“I will accept this award as a
said. “My promise is simple and real, and I'm not making it to
you. I want to make my promise to the next generation of lesbian and
gay men, bisexuals and transgender youth.”
“I hope my example will give them the
confidence and hope to be who they are too, and to conquer their own
fears and hesitation. I want to give them just a little more courage
to know they are loved just as they are, and to know they will grow
up beautiful and strong and proud.”
“I can’t promise them it will be
easy or painless. I know they will have some dark places, and fears
holding them back. Sometimes we listen to the wrong voices, the ones
that tell you that 'you can’t,' or 'you shouldn’t.' We all do.”
“We have to listen to our own voices
and our own hearts. I hope that every young person will know they are
not alone. There are many of us – exactly like them – who love
them unconditionally and who know that being open and honest makes
all the difference,” Haynes added.
Best known for his roles as Jackson
Whittemore in MTV's Teen Wolf and Roy Harper/Arsenal in The
CW's Arrow, Haynes officially
came out in May.
“This is for all
my incredible fans & hope I can inspire y'all to be yourselves
even though I hid for so long,” Haynes wrote in thanking HRC for
the honor on Instagram.