'Modern Family' Star Eric Stonestreet Reveals How Playing Gay Changed His Life

05/20/2015 04:03 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Eric Stonestreet may not have known anyone who was openly gay during his adolescent years in Kansas, but his Emmy-winning "Modern Family" turn quickly changed all of that.

The 43-year-old actor, who is straight, told HuffPost Live in an interview this week that he feels "more on the front lines of what it means to stand up for people's equality" after playing Cameron Tucker on "Modern Family," which was just renewed for a seventh season.

"I'm just more active in that community and I feel a little bit more responsible for people's words and actions," he said.

Stonestreet also opened up about some early concerns he had over tackling the role, and said that he felt particularly protective of his co-star, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who is openly gay, noting, "I was worried from the beginning that I was going to be part of a gay bashing of sorts."

Last year, he joked that his character was a "bossy, fussy bottom," adding that many gay fans had approached him in hopes of "challenging" his sexuality.

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