October 8, 2012 6:48 PM EST
Matt Bomer and Partner Simon Halls Speak Up On Being Openly Gay [PHOTOS]
Actor Matt Bomer and his Hollywood publicist partner, Simon Halls, were recently given the honor of an "Inspiration Award" by The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
"Magic Mike" co-star Joe Manganiello presented the award to the openly gay couple who happen to be responsible parents with their three sons, Kit, Henry and Walker.
Aside from working together in the film "Magic Mike," Joe Manganiello got acquainted with Matt Bomer when they both went to college at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The "True Blood" actor had nothing but kind words as he presented the award to the recipients.
"You are the example that the rest of our country needs to wake up and see in terms of equality and putting an end to the bullying epidemic and making sure that every family is respected in our schools and our society," Manganiello said.
During his acceptance speech, 34-year-old Matt Bomer reminisced what his life was like in high school where he had no means to voice out what he had in mind.
"So I did what any self-preserving 14-year-old would do. I signed up for the school play and also the football team to cover my tracks," Bomer said.
"When that happens, when you aren't allowed to speak about who you are, one of the most authentic parts of who you are, which is who you love or who you're attracted to, feels invisible. GLSEN gives visibility and authenticity to kids all across the country," Bomer added gratefully to the advocacy group.
Matt Bomer's partner, Simon Halls, also gave an acceptance speech with a meaningful message.
"Having kids teaches you so many things and one of the things we both have learned in our parenting journey is how loving and accepting and open children's minds and hearts are," Halls said. "Unfortunately, in some parts of the country, some kids are taught at an early age that being different is somehow bad or wrong or worthy of ridicule. Kids aren't born to be bullies, they're taught to be bullies," Halls added.
When the "Fifty Shades of Grey" casting rumors started to spread like wildfire, Matt Bomer was immediately slammed by author Bret Easton Ellis. The "American Psycho" author commented that the actor cannot portray the erotic male character Christian Grey because he is gay.
"I don't care how good an actor you are but being married to another man complicated things for playing Christian Grey," Ellis said. However, Matt Bomer remains a top choice for the male lead role of Christian Grey despite being criticized for being gay.