The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, on Saturday honored Moonlight with its Visionary Award at its Greater New York Gala.

Based on Tarell Alvin McCraney's play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, Moonlight, written and directed by Barry Jenkins, follows an African-American man (played by Trevante Rhodes) who struggles to come out gay over three periods of his life while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

In presenting the award, Jharrel Jerome, who plays teen Kevin in the film, said that the “best part of this ride” was hearing from people who identified with the film's characters.

McCraney accepted the award on behalf of the film.

“An ally means giving voice to the voiceless by passing them the mic, not speaking over them,” McCraney said in his acceptance speech. “An ally allows the light from the moon to shine on the privileged and the marginalized alike.”

“For a long time I believed that the community I was from, the story I had to tell, had limits … but once you get an ally … like [Moonlight director] Barry Jenkins ... we are limitless,” he added.