True Blood actor Joe Manganiello has revealed why he is such a staunch fighter for LGBTI equality.
‘I had to watch my friends endure challenges not experienced by the straight community,’ he said last weekend in Seattle while accepting the Ally for Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign.
Manganiello shared how he saw friends in school struggle with their sexuality and having their families not accept them and later he saw friends struggle in the job market or live in secret.
‘I’ve never had to suffer any of those difficulties myself but somewhere along the way I decided to open my big mouth and use my platform to fight for all of the people to feel free to be who they are no matter where they are and be able to share their life and love with whomever their heart sees fit to love.’
He added: ‘I choose to fight for a world where equality is a reality, not just a dream.’
Manganiello was named People Magazine’s ‘sexiest bachelor’ before he started dating Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara.
He is currently working on the sequel to the 2012 box office hit Magic Mike about a group of male strippers. Also in the cast is Manganiello college friend Matt Bomer.