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In Tears, Colton Haynes Accepts HRC’s Visibility Award

Colton Haynes HRC

The actor called the honor “a promise” to serve as an example for LGBT youth.

Colton Haynes could hardly choke back the tears as he accepted the Human Rights Campaign's Visibility Award in Seattle this weekend.

"I have experienced a lot of 'wow' moments in my life," he said. "But I think tonight, it's probably topping all of them."

The 28-year-old actor Teen Wolf and Arrow actor officially came out as gay this spring. He also shared his struggles with anxiety and how show business can push actors into the closet.

"It's taken me a long time to get here," he said. "I never made a decision to be gay. That came as naturally as the color of my eyes. Tonight, I can be myself for the first time. And it feels incredible."

Related: Pretty Hurts: The Joy and Heartache of Colton Haynes

Haynes hoped he could be an example to LGBT youth by sharing his story.

"My promise is simple and real, and I'm not making it to you," he said. "I'm making it to the next generations of lesbians and gay men, bisexuals, and transgender youth, and I hope my example will give them the confidence and hope to be who they are as well."

Watch the full speech below.

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