The actor didn’t come out publicly until 2010.

Will and Grace star Sean Hayes opened up about regretting his decision to not come out until 2010 as he was honoured as an LGBT trailblazer at Outfest Legacy Awards on October 23.

Hayes played one of the most loved gay characters in TV history, Jack, in the hit sitcom. Both Jack and Will, played Eric McCormack became LGBT cultural icons at the height of the show’s popularity.

In his acceptance speech the actor said: “I was a young closeted actor having his first taste of a little success and unfortunately, in my mind, my lucky break was inextricably tied to me thinking that I had to stay in the closet in order to keep moving forward.

“When it comes to nights like tonight and honours like this, I’m consumed with what I didn’t do.

“I know I should’ve come out sooner and I’m sorry for that. Especially when I think about the possibility that I might have made a difference in someone’s life.

“I would probably be able to sleep a lot better than I do if I had acted sooner, but such is life. We learn our lessons only when we are ready.”

The star, who recently reprised his character Jack McFarland in a Will & Grace special, married his partner Scott Icenogle in 2014.

Watch Sean Hayes’ acceptance speech below:

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