Actor Zachary Quinto has revealed that the suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer moved him to come out gay.

During an interview with New York Magazine released Sunday, Quinto referred to himself publicly for the first time as a gay man.

While discussing his role as Louis Ironson, a gay man, in the off-Broadway revival of Tony Kushner's groundbreaking AIDS drama Angels in America, Quinto said that the play was the “most challenging thing I've ever done as an actor, and the most rewarding.”

He then added: “At the same time as a gay man, it made me feel like there's still so much work to be done, and there's still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed.”

In a blog post, Quinto, who is best known for playing a young Spock in the 2009 J. J. Abrams-directed Star Trek reboot, expanded on his reasons for coming out after he had previously dodged questions about his sexuality.

“[I]n light of Jamey's death – it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it – is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality,” Quinto wrote, referring to Jamey Rodemeyer, the 14-year-old Buffalo-area student who committed suicide last month after being bullied for coming out gay.

(Related: Lady Gaga performs Jamey Rodemeyer tribute; says “bullying is for losers.”)

“Gay kids need to stop killing themselves because they are made to feel worthless by cruel and relentless bullying. Parents need to teach their children principles of respect and acceptance. We are witnessing an enormous shift of collective consciousness throughout the world. We are at the precipice of great transformation within our culture and government.”

“I believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society – and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action. Jamey Rodemeyer’s life changed mine. And while his death only makes me wish that I had done this sooner – I am eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for change within me. Now I can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one other person in this world. That – I believe – is all that we can ask of ourselves and of each other,” Quinto added.