Actor Nico Tortorella smiled widely and thanked members of the Los Angeles City Council Friday while accepting the role as the city’s first ambassador for LGBT month, which is June.
Tortorella — who uses the pronouns “they” and “them” to refer to himself — stars in the TV Land show “Younger” and was selected as ambassador for advocating on behalf of the LGBT community. The council also declared it Nico Tortorella Day in the city.
“People make assumptions about the gender of another person based on the person’s appearance or their name,” City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said. “These assumptions aren’t always correct, and the act of making an assumption — even if correct — sends a potentially harmful message that people have to look a certain way to demonstrate the gender that they are or they are not.”
The ceremony included the screening of a video clip of Tortorella speaking on “The View,” discussing matters and preconceptions of the LGBT community with a group of people.
“Nico Tortorella is a Renaissance human for the modern day — an actor, author and advocate for the LGBT community, breaking down stereotypes and educating in the process,” O’Farrell said. “Isn’t it also wonderful that we open up our minds about how people identify? It brings us all on a common ground.”
Tortorella declared himself gender-fluid and bisexual in 2016.
“This is utterly surreal; I am so honored and honored and grateful and proud and obviously there will not be enough words to describe this,” Tortorella said. “This day is not just for me. This is for the people that I’m standing here today for … the marginalized and the disenfranchised, for anyone who has been made to feel (different).”
On Friday night, City Hall will be illuminated in the rainbow colors in honor of the month, and LGBT pride events will be hosted throughout the city in June.
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