Soon to return to Frozen, Groff says he hopes Looking "paved the way for other people to create [more] gay stories"
The out actor will be honored with the LGBT scholarship organization the Point Foundation‘s Point Horizons Award for his activism Monday night in New York City. In addition to acting in gay projects including Looking and The Normal Heart, Groff, 30, says advocating for the gay community has always been a passion.
As the star points out in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE: “There’s not a lot of gay programming on TV,” which is why he’s disappointed Looking, which followed the lives of several out gay men in San Francisco, was canceled by HBO last month. (A finale special is reportedly in the works: Groff doesn’t have any details yet but is excited “to get to say goodbye.”)
“We wanted to create a show with gay men where they weren’t tragic figures or the comedic relief or sexually sensationalized but just multi-dimensional human beings,” says Groff. “So, I feel sad that it was canceled but grateful for the time that we had.”
When it was announced the show wouldn’t be renewed for a third season, fans took to social media to express their disappointment while media outlets, including The Advocate, penned op-eds on why the show was important.
“That was amazing to see that sort of outpouring of love and support for the show,” says Groff. “I think that speaks to just the need and desire for more gay stories to be told. Hopefully it maybe paved the way for other people to create [more] gay stories. Hopefully someday there won’t be just one gay show on the air but multiple shows.”
When he’s not working, the actor – who will return as Kristoff in the upcoming Frozen sequel – spends a lot of time speaking at schools and to theater groups, and he says he always tries to speak from personal experience.
“I remember being a kid and feeling like when somebody mentioned in a moment that they were gay or [saw someone gay] on TV, it was like an exciting sense of relief to see someone talk about being gay, so I try to do that as often as I can,” he says.
“It sort of goes back to that Harvey Milk thing of, ‘Tell your friends, tell everyone,’ ” he says. “I always try to wear that on my sleeve.”