Actor Colton Haynes is set to be honoured by Human Rights Campaign officials just months after "coming out" as gay.
The Teen Wolf star came clean about his sexuality earlier this year (16), and now the 28-year-old has been chosen to receive the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) civil rights advocacy group's visibility award at the 17th annual gala in Seattle, Washington on Saturday (27Aug16).
Haynes will be presented with the honour in recognition of the way he has "inspired countless LGBTQ young people across the country and around the world to live their lives as their authentic selves," HRC president Chad Griffin says in a statement. "By simply being open about who he is, Haynes is helping to break down barriers and tear down closet doors."
The actor 'came out' to his family and friends back home in Kansas at the age of 14, but Colton only publicly discussed his sexuality when a fan commented on her idol's "secret gay past" on Tumblr.com in January (16).
Rather than ignore the post, Haynes responded on his personal Tumblr account, writing, "Was it a secret? Let's all just enjoy life & have no regrets."
He has since opened up even more about his past struggles with anxiety and bullying in the hopes of helping others who are also going through similar difficulties.
Following his announcement, critics took aim at Colton for not being more candid about his homosexuality and he even checked into a rehab facility to treat his anxiety.
"It was a complete shock," he told Entertainment Weekly in May (16). "I wasn't ready to be back in the headlines. I should have made a comment or a statement, but I just wasn't ready. I didn't feel like I owed anyone anything. I think in due time, everyone has to make those decisions when they're ready, and I wasn't yet. But I felt like I was letting people down by not coming forward with the rest of what I should have said."