Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays Mitchell on the hit ABC series "Modern Family," was a victim of bullying growing up--a moment in his life that he still remembers to this day.
"I left school in the eighth grade and I went to a different school," he said at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's Respect Awards recently, as reported by E! Online. "It was hard. It was a horrible, horrible experience."
The openly-gay actor also said that lived in fear everyday. "I'm sure a lot of it was rooted in homophobia. I mean, I was an ‘artistic,' kid, which was AKA gay. I think a lot of people sensed that I was gay and were terrified of that. I think bullying comes from fear and insecurity."
Ferguson also commented that it wasn’t only gay people who were bullied. "I was friends with the more eccentric, granola type kids who got teased, too. But you know what? We're the movers and shakers of the world now."
“Modern Family,” which recently won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, was honored by GLSEN at the Respect Awards in Los Angeles. The sitcom features two partners, played by Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, who are the parents of an adopted child.
"GLSEN is honored to be the first national LGBT organization to recognize ABC's 'Modern Family,' at our Respect Awards - Los Angeles," GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said in a press release. "As a lesbian mother of two, I am grateful to see a show like 'Modern Family' offer an honest and often hilarious look at family experiences frequently overlooked or ignored in Primetime. From its positive portrayal of gay parents to its handling of school bullying, 'Modern Family' provides an invaluable window into what family life is like for millions of American youth."
Selected Reading: E! Online