October 26, 2017 08:00 AM

 

This Is Us star Mandy Moore opens up about overcoming personal turmoil and why now she’s happier than ever. Subscribe now for a look inside her new life — only in PEOPLE!

Every week, This Is Us triggers personal connections for millions of viewers, including one of its stars, Mandy Moore.

“I think the audience can see themselves reflected in certain aspects of the show,” Moore tells PEOPLE. “I love that our show celebrates the idea of a nontraditional family. I see my own family reflected in some ways.”

The star was 23 when her mother left her father for a woman; both of her brothers are gay. Says Moore of her “extraordinarily close” family: “Nobody is hiding who they are. There are no secrets in our lives. I love and support my mom and my brothers with my whole heart. And nothing makes me happier than seeing anybody live their authentic self, and to choose love. If anyone can find love, I support it, I salute you and I celebrate that.”

When it comes to intolerance, “I feel a certain amount of protectiveness,” says Moore, 33. “I definitely won’t stand for that. But I feel like we’re at a time in our culture when we’re able to have a much more open dialogue. I’m encouraged and excited that eventually we’re going to get to a point where none of this matters. Sexual preference or orientation just won’t factor in anymore. I think we’re inching closer to that.”

Jim Wright

For now, Moore is thrilled to be part of a show that is encouraging acceptance in many facets of life. “I’ve never been a part of a project where people are willing to be so vulnerable,” she says. “The dialogue that this has engendered is mind-boggling. Every day that I drive into work I think, ‘Thank you universe. I don’t know what I did.'”

For more on Mandy Moorepick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on stands Friday

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