Simon Halls: Wow. This makes me think— I don’t know if any of you guys saw Matt do Glee. There was a scene— he was just being ridiculous as his character, and then he went out and broke out into song with Darren Criss, and they were doing all this stuff, and at the end people started clapping, and he looked over to [Darren’s] character and he said, “Standing O.” [laughs] And I sorta feel the same way. Thank you so much. It’s crazy to give us a standing ovation when there’s so many inspirational people out here. Thank you Joe, for that great introduction, and thank you to GLSEN for this very kind award. Both Matt and I are deeply, deeply honored to be receiving it.
You know, there are a lot of great organizations out there who do a lot of fantastic stuff for people from all walks of life. But I think I speak for Matt and myself in saying that none of them impress them as much as GLSEN, which does amazing lifesaving work for kids across the country. As you’ve heard by now, GLSEN works in a grassroots manner to protect young vulnerable kids from harassment and bullying in schools and in their communities. For that they deserve all the accolades and all the support they’re getting from all of you tonight. So, [applauds]
As parents, Matt and I have been blessed with three incredible, sometimes crazy, but incredible kids. Having kids really teaches you so many things, and one of the things we both learned in our parenting journey is how loving and accepting and open children’s minds and hearts are from day one. We both believe that kids are a constant reminder that man is essentially kind and good and fair. 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. And that’s where the seeds of bullying are sown. Kids aren’t born to be bullies, they’re taught to be bullies.
And I think that’s why all of the amazing work that GLSEN does is so essential. Kids need to be given an environment where they feel safe and where they have hope for the future and they feel empowered to love whoever they want. So thank you to GLSEN, for all you do in creating a safe place for our nation’s youth, and thank you, Joe, again. And now, over to my better half, Mr. Bomer.
Matt Bomer: Uh, note to self, never let your smarter half speak first. [laughs] I hope you guys don’t mind I say a few words as well. We’re both really honored to be receiving the Inspiration Award tonight from an organization that’s been so inspirational to us for so long. I want to echo Simon in thanking Joe. Joe, to be honest with you, I thought the gay friendliest thing you ever did was dance with me in a thong in Magic Mike. But, I think you’ve actually outdone yourself tonight, so thank you. You are an amazing friend and an incredible artist and I’m lucky to know you, and you inspire me. And not just with your beard.
A lot of the people who inspire me are here tonight, really starting with this amazing young generation who are doing such impactful, grassroots work. You guys have to give yourselves a hand, you’re doing the real work, frankly. And also established artists like Jeffrey, and Ryan Murphy, Harvey, Mike Lombardo, amongst many, many others who are here tonight. You tell stories that start a conversation, and oftentimes that’s the first step in dissolving ignorance, so thank you.
This organization has always been special to me because I grew up in suburban Texas, not far from Katy, Texas that we heard about earlier tonight. And there was no GLSEN when I was in high school, there was no safe haven, there was no outlet for you to speak your 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. [laughs] I’m sure there are many of you out there tonight who probably did something very similar. But you know, 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. And GLSEN gives visibility and authenticity to kids all across the country, and for that, we’re very, very grateful.
So I want to thank everybody who’s here tonight, who’s started a chapter at your local school or had the courage to go to a meeting. To all those here who donated of their time and their money, you’re the ones doing the real work and we share this award with all of you. I also especially want to share it with the kids who don’t have an outreach program and who suffer in silence. Help is on the way.
I went back to my high school alma mater website this week, just to see what the developments were. And front and center on the homepage — this is near Katy, Texas — was an organization called “Bearcats Against Hate.” Bearcats were our mascot, I don’t know what that is, I still don’t know what a Bearcat is. It made high school even more confusing. But I digress. [laughs] The important thing is that the work we’re doing here tonight is changing the cultural landscape and making a lot of lives a lot better. So thank you.
Mostly I want to thank my amazing family, Simon and our three boys, who inspire me every day. And I want to thank everybody at the USA Network and Fox, many of whom are here tonight. […] And I really want to thank my friends who came out to support, and especially my cast. You guys have been so incredibly supportive of me from day one. You’re like the big Italian family I never had. You’ve stood by me, through the good and the bad, and always supported me, whether voiced or silently. And most importantly, you’ve only ever treated me as an equal artist who’s there to help you tell a story. And that, in my opinion, is real progress. So thank you.
Matt Bomer & Simon Halls accept GLSEN’s 2012 Inspiration Award
“You are two of the best parents I’ve ever seen” - Joe Manganiello
(Talking about Matt Bomer and Simon Halls at GLSEN Awards)
“Without a safe haven, one of the most authentic parts of who you are, who you love, felt invisible to the world.” - Matt Bomer
“Kids aren’t born to be bullies, they’re taught. That’s why the the amazing work that GLSEN does is so essential.” - Simon Halls
“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,” “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.” - Simon Halls
White Collar” star Matt Bomer is spotted out for a stroll with his partner Simon Halls and their kids Henry, Walker, and Kit in Soho, New York City.