Colton Haynes Tearfully Accepts Human Rights Campaign Award: How His Life Has Changed in Just a Few Months After Coming Out

Teen Wolf star has seen many accomplishments

By Kendall Fisher Aug 30, 2016 4:20 PMTags

After coming out just three months ago, Colton Haynes' truth has set him free in so many ways, opening up more opportunities and career-changing doors than ever before.

For example, over the weekend, the Teen Wolf star was honored with the Human Rights Campaign's Visibility Award, which he accepted with a tearful, heartfelt speech.

"I've experienced a lot of 'wow' moments in my life," he began. "But I think tonight, it's probably topping all of them."

He continued, "My coming out was a bit splashy for many people...That's just how entertainment works. It makes a bigger deal out of everyone's personal decisions." However, he noted that he never "made the decision" to be gay, but rather it came just as "naturally as the color" of his eyes, which is why he felt at home among the LGBT advocates of the night.

Colton Haynes Talks Coming Out, His Father's Suicide and What He Wants in a Man

"Tonight I can actually be myself for the first time, and it feels incredible," he admitted. "I feel lucky just knowing we have such a strong, fierce, united community that believes as I do that equality is our birthright. It's not a slogan."

He continued in his honesty, adding, "I don't necessarily feel especially deserving of this recognition. We all know that there are many other ways, many other people who have come before me and blazed the trail as LGBT advocates and role models. And I'm walking in their shoes, and I'm following their lead."

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for March Of Dimes

So instead of accepting the award for himself, he decided to accept it as a promise. 

"My promise is simple and real, and I'm not making it to you," he said. "I'm making it to the next generations of lesbians and gay men, bisexuals, and transgender youth, and I hope my example will give them the confidence and hope to be who they are as well."

He told the crowd that the LGBT community will continue to face hate and people who project their own ideas onto them but they cannot stop them. "We have to listen to our own voices and our own hearts and that's when we become the best people."

In fact, that's exactly what has happened with Haynes. Over the last few months since he came out, he's seen more opportunities arise from simply being true to himself—as though the universe and everything he was meant to do and be fell into place because he fell into place with himself.

Let's take a look at all of his exciting, new endeavors below:

Blair Getz Mezibov/Out

He Got His Own Out Cover Shoot: Earlier this month, Haynes was able to open up about his background and personal struggle with coming out in Out magazine.

Growing up in Kansas, Haynes told the publication that it was a place where "you couldn't be gay," which led the star to not only conceal his sexuality but also develop severe anxiety about his secret...especially after his father's death.

When he was 14 he decided to come out to his family and friends, but it didn't go well. Students aggressively bullied him and his mom didn't accept it, so he rebelled. He ran away from home to stay with a friend, and it was there that he found out his father had committed suicide.

"I'm the last person in the world who would say, 'Oh, my dad—pity me,'" says Haynes, who was never close with his dad (He and his mom were divorced.). "But I was told that my dad killed himself because he found out I was gay. So, of course, I lost it and was like, 'How could you say something like that?' And no one will ever really know the truth."

Tyler Shields

He Joined the Cast of Scream Queens: The Arrow veteran took to Instagram to announce his new gig, writing, "Very excited to share the news :) Cant wait to start work on Scream Queens Season 2!!! :)"

Shortly after the announcement, E! News learned Haynes will come on as a guest star. Fox is keeping details abouCancelt his role under wraps, but we should look for him to show up early in the season.

Holy Moly is officially up!!! Go get ur stuff :) Ahhhhhhh

A photo posted by Colton Haynes (@coltonlhaynes) on

He Started an E-Commerce Site: The actor's following has only grown after coming out, which likely inspired the idea behind his e-commerce website.

The online shopping hub is full of "Daddy" hats (which Twitter often references him as), signed memorabilia and shirts with Haynes' photo printed across them in various poses.

The website also notes that he'll be launching his own brand at the end of the year!

Courtesy of

He Joined a Campaign to Help the Military: Haynes teamed up with the and Johnson & Johnson for Smiles for Soldiers, asking kids to help create handmade Thank You cards for U.S. military service members.

The cards were created to help military service members feel connected to home and to the people and the country they serve. "The Smiles for Soldiers campaign means a lot to me because my sister served in the Air Force," Colton said of the project. "It's so important to show gratitude and appreciation to those who fight for our country."

Congratulations to Haynes on all of his new endeavors! We can't wait to see what else he has in store for the future!

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