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Matt Bomer Honored at GLSEN Awards, Talks About His Experiences as a Gay Teenager

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Oct. 6 2012, Published 5:12 a.m. ET

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Matt Bomer was honored by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) Friday in Beverly Hills, but he spent much of his allotted time honoring the organization which was recognizing him! In doing so, Matt, who publicly came out last February, opened up about what it was like for him growing up as a gay teenager.

"When I was in high school, there was no safe haven, there was no outlet for you to speak your mind," he said. "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."

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Matt is now 34 and one of Hollywood's most well-known celebrities. He's starred in Glee and Magic Mike and presently stars on White Collar. He was honored along with his partner, Hollywood publicist Simon Halls, with the Inspiration Award.

"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 and are attracted to, feels invisible," Matt continued. "GLSEN gives visibility and authenticity to kids all across the country."

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Matt's Magic Mike co-star and college buddy Joe Manganiello presented Matt and Simon with the award.

"You are the example 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 society," Joe said.

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