This past Saturday, television and stage actor Conrad Ricamora (How To Get Away With Murder, The King & I) received the HRC Visibility Award at the 2016 Cleveland Gala.
Ricamora is a wonderful choice for this honor. He’s been openly gay for years as he’s been starring on the hit network television show “How To Get Away With Murder” at the same time he’s been starring on Broadway in the recent sterling revival of The King & I.
Not only is Ricamora openly gay for some time now, he plays an openly gay character on HTGAWM who is also HIV+.
Watch his disarmingly charming acceptance speech below. He’s especially effusive in praise for those out actors before him like Sean Hayes, George Takei and Sir Ian McKellen.
“I want to thank all of the out actors that have empowered other actors like me to live with integrity because there’s a lot of pressure to stay in the closet when you first start acting. There are some actors though who have chosen to live their lives with integrity, both personally and professionally.
“From George Takei to Sean Hayes, to Sir Ian McKellen to Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and countless, countless others, your honesty and your openness in your public lives allows kids like me from Niceville, Florida to see you on screen, or online, or in print and feel like there’s a place for us in the world, even when we’re scared for our own safety in the communities that we’re living.”