Sean Hayes on Coming Out Publicly Between 'Will & Grace' Then and Now

"I didn't have the DNA or the ability to be one spokesperson for an entire group of people," Hayes told the Roundtable.

Sean Hayes opened up to The Hollywood Reporter on coming back to Will & Grace, describing how the reboot was set in motion. "We did this election video to get the message out, the only way we knew how for people to get out and vote. We did it for free."

"We didn't do it for any other reason," Hayes told the Comedy Actor Roundtable. "We all got together, it was great to see everybody, and then it was goodbye," Hayes said. "And here we are because of the response."

When Will & Grace first started, Hayes wasn't out publicly, saying, "I was in a difference place when I was a young kid, being gay. I was out, but not out to the press. I was out on the set, I was out to my friends, I was out to the world. But I didn't have the DNA or the ability to be one spokesperson for an entire group of people. I wasn't trained to be that person, I didn't know how to do it."

"Now I'm in a different place," Hayes told the Roundtable. "You realize silence equals death, which is true. Here I am, out and proud, glad to be on the show, and I do anything and everything I can for the LGBTQ community."

Sean Hayes earned an Emmy and six Emmy nominations for his role as Jack on Will & Grace. His second career Emmy is for hosting the 64th Tony Awards. He has an additional six Golden Globe nominations for his supporting work on Will & Grace.

The full Emmy Roundtables air every Sunday on SundanceTV beginning June 24 and on THR.com the following Monday. The full Comedy Actor Roundtable starring Tracy Morgan, Marc Maron, Louie Anderson, Ray Romano, Sean Hayes and Tony Shalhoub airs June 24 on Sundance TV. Tune in to THR.com/roundtables for more roundtables featuring talent from the year’s top shows.