12th Annual Outfest Legacy Awards - Inside
Credit: Greg Doherty / Getty

Sean Hayes will live forever in our hearts as the delightfully silly Jack from the incredible sitcom Will & Grace. He made us laugh and cry, and then laugh harder at his hilarious Cher impression. Sean Hayes was honored on Sunday at Outfest’s Legacy Awards, along with Jill Soloway and Freeform. Sean was of course honored, but he took his moment as he accepted his award to apologize that he hadn’t come out sooner. Sean came out in 2010, which was several years after Will & Grace ended in 2006.

In his speech, Sean Hayes was responding to a flattering quote from Outfest Executive Director, Christopher Racster.

We totally agree with Christopher’s words. Sean accomplished a very difficult thing by making a character who might otherwise be a stereotype into a real person that we as an audience cared about.

But Sean says that he wished that Christopher had listed “flawed” first, because that’s how he feels when accepting awards like this, because he wishes he had come out sooner.

That’s a beautiful reason for Sean to regret holding off on coming out, because it is so inspiring for young people to see stars they admire celebrating who they are. But we hope that Sean isn’t beating himself up too much about it, because we think that just his humility and awareness is incredibly inspirational.

Credit: Emma McIntyre / Getty

We too are so grateful to him for being so open, honest, funny, and real.