Justin Timberlake
2 min read

While accepting the Inspiration Award with his wife Jessica Biel at the GLSEN Respect Awards, Justin Timberlake decided to spontaneously share the moment a childhood friend came out to him.

The impromptu story was of songwriter and producer Matt Morris who has been a friend since the pair were twelve and fourteen years of age.

“I was obsessed with his voice. One of the most amazing voices. I actually learned how to riff because I would follow him around … So I was probably very annoying to him.” Justin Timberlake explained to the 600 guests at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

GLSEN 2015 Respect Awards
GLSEN 2015 Respect Awards

“But I’ll never forget … he was 14 years old, I was 12 years old and we were riding our bikes in Orlando, Florida, where you ride your bikes, and he said, ‘Hey man, I have something I have to tell you.’ ”

“And I said, ‘Yeah, I know.’ And he said, ‘No, it’s very important to me.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I know.’ And he said, ‘OK, I’m just going to say it.’ And I go, ‘Yeah, I know.’ He said, ‘I’m gay.’ To which I said, ‘Yeah, I know.’ ”

“He said, ‘Really, you know?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I know.’ He said, ‘How do you know?’ I said, ‘Matt, you make us breakfast in your own tortilla pan with a headband on while you’re wearing a mud mask every morning. And you know what … I love you for that.’ ”

Matt Morris
Matt Morris

Timberlake also praised GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Alliance) saying that the group are standing proudly on the right side of history.

“Even with all the trouble in our world today, this movement clearly is winning and is going to keep on winning.”

Other recipients at the GLSEN Respect Awards included Zachary Quinto, who received the Champion Award, Mars Hallman, who received the Student Advocate of the Year Award, and YouTube, who received the Chairman’s Award.

GLSEN’s goal is to ensure that every student, in every school, is valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. GLSEN believe that all students deserve a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow.

Recent statistics from GLSEN have shown that eight out of ten LGBTI students are still harassed at school each year because of who they are.


Last Updated on Oct 29, 2015

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