Jim Parsons and his longtime boyfriend Todd Spiewak may have been given the Inspiration Award last night by LGBT young advocacy group GLESN, but the 40-year-old Big Bang Theory star insists the two have done nothing extraordinary.
"If we're inspiring at all, it's that we're a very average normal just moving right along with our lives kind of people," Parsons said on the red carpet at the Beverly Hills Hotel before he and Spiewak were presented the award by the actor's Big Bang costar Mayim Bialik. "That doesn't feel like you could possibly be inspirational when you're going through those day-to-day motions, but I get it."
Last night's event marked the first time Parsons and graphic designer Spiewak have talked publicly about their relationship and posed and did interviews together on a red carpet. (Parsons has thanked Spiewak during acceptances speeches at awards shows like the Emmys.)
On stage, Parsons said the true inspirations of the world are people like GLESN's student ambassadors and writer and gay activist Larry Kramer. (Parsons is currently shooting director Ryan Murphy's HBO adaptation of Kramer's AIDS play The Normal Heart.)
"I've never considered myself an activist," Parsons said. "I've never considered my relationship with Todd to be an act of activism. Rather simply, it's an act of love, coffee in the morning, going to work, washing the clothes, taking the dogs [out]—a regular life, boring love.
"Now all this said, no one is giving us an award for activism. I realize this," he continued. "If we are indeed inspiration to others by simply being who we are and living our lives in the way that feels right to us then we have to thank the same people who help any other couple who continue a successful relationship—our friends and family. We are both surrounded by so many people who make our lives better and easier, friends we've had for many years and friends we've made since living in L.A."
In the audience were Spiewak's parents, who Parsons thanked "for being such an important part of our lives—and our dog's lives."
Even so, they "have no plans" to get married, Spiewak said.
"Jim is so understated as is Todd and I think that's part of the elegance of how inspiring they are," Bialik said. "They live their life in a very normal way."
Also honored last night were Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Lionsgate, the studio behind the Hunger Games franchise. The star-studded event included appearances by Glee's Matthew Morrison, Carrie star Chloe Grace Moretz, openly gay L.A. Galaxy soccer star Robbie Rogers and NBA player Jason Collins, Scandal's Dan Bucatinsky and Lily Tomlin and a performance by YouTube singing sensation Steve Grand. Guests inluded Dancing with the Stars duo Petra Murgatroyd and Brant Daugherty and Criminal Minds star Kirsten Vangsness.