Chandler Massey, who plays Will Horton on the NBC daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives, addressed the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) at its recent Atlanta Dinner.

Massey, 27, is the first actor to receive a Daytime Emmy Award for portraying a gay character. Massey returned to the role of Will last year after a 4 year hiatus.

Massey told the crowd that when he learned that he would be part of a coming out gay storyline, he didn't think much about the impact it would have on viewers.

“Thankfully, that ego-centric thinking was short lived,” he said.

Massey described Will's coming out as “real, nuanced, [and] powerful.”

“This was an unfiltered story about a young man struggling to come to terms with an integral part of himself. And it was a story that was so unrepresented in daytime television that we had, honestly, no idea how it would be received,” Massey said.

“My ignorance was replaced with awareness, with gratitude, and with pride. I underestimated the power of a good story.”

Massey said that he received a letter from a mother who found the courage to talk to her son about his sexuality after avoiding the subject.

“She said that seeing Will Horton come out of the closet gave them a roadmap to have that conversation for the very first time,” Massey said.

Massey joked that Days might broadcast the first “gay three way” in daytime television history. “Fingers crossed,” he told the crowd to applause.