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Photo by Kim White/Getty Images

Dan Levy Gets a GLAAD Award for Promoting LGBTQ Acceptance via Schitt’s Creek

"Support, encouragement and love: Three relatively simple acts of kindness that can change the course of a person's life."

There’s a lot we know about Alexis Rose’s pre-Schitt’s Creek life: she’s dated all three Hanson brothers, been on a blind date with Leo, and had a tryst with Prince Harry. While snippets of her colourful love life are sprinkled throughout the series, there’s no shortage of clues to David Rose’s romantic past either. Openly pansexual, we know he had a crush on Jared Leto, suffered through an arduous breakup with Anderson Cooper, and “burned a bridge” with Nate Berkus in Ibiza. (And of course there was that ill-advised almost-throuple with Stevie and Jake.) All this to say, it’s not often we see a queer character in pop culture offered the same freedom and nonchalance when it comes to discussing romantic or sexual paramours as straight characters are.

But that was Dan Levy’s intention from the start: to create a place where everyone could love out loud.

“When I found myself in a position to tell stories on a global scale, I seized the opportunity to make a television show that might, in its own way, offer some support, encouragement and love to those who might not have it in their homes or in their schools or in their day to day lives,” Dan Levy said at the GLAAD Gala over the weekend, where he accepted the Davidson/Valentini Award celebrating LGBTQ media professionals who have made significant contributions towards promoting acceptance for the LGBTQ community.

In a recent interview with Out magazine, Levy said that, much like Oprah, he wants to focus on telling “good, inspirational stories.”

His first crack at storytelling has given us some of the most beloved moments on television—a sweet serenade, a touching coming-out moment, and a deft wine metaphor about sexuality—and earned him a global community of fans who saw themselves represented onscreen without the shadow of bigotry or intolerance, making him the ideal recipient for this year’s Davidson/Valentini Award.

Levy accepted the award—which was presented by his Schitt’s Creek castmates Annie Murphy, Noah Reid and Emily Hampshire—with a powerful speech touching on his own coming-out story.

“I think back to that time where I legitimately thought that I’d have to live with this secret — my being gay — for the rest of my life,” Levy told the audience at the GLAAD Gala in San Francisco. “I didn’t have the security of seeing a lot of people like myself being celebrated in popular culture.”

But, he added, he was loved. “I was lucky enough to have a family that supported me fiercely and unconditionally when I needed it the most… Had I not had the love to give me a sense of security, I don’t know if I would have found my way out of the closet, let alone create the opportunity for myself to tell stories on television that have effected some kind of positive change in the world.”

You can watch the entirety of Dan’s moving speech from the Gala here: