Wilson Cruz's role as Enrique Vasquez made him the first openly gay actor to play an openly gay character in a leading role in an American TV series

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Wilson Cruz My So Called Life
Credit: Mark Seliger/Walt Disney Television via Getty; George Pimentel/Getty

Wilson Cruz is expressing “gratitude” for My So-Called Life on the 25th anniversary of episode 15, “So-Called Angels.”

On Sunday, Cruz, 45, shared a photo of himself as his character Enrique “Rickie” Vasquez in the series on Twitter and shared just how much the show still means to him.

“Before this day, December, 21st, comes to an end, I must, even if just for me, because of all it meant and continues to mean to me, I MUST acknowledge and bow in gratitude for 25th anniversary of the premiere of the My So-Called Life episode ‘So Called Angels,’ ” he wrote.

Cruz concluded the post simply writing, “Thank you…”

My So-Called Life premiered in August 1994, and tackled major social issues, including child abuse, homophobia, teenage alcoholism, violence, drug use and homelessness.

Cruz played Vasquez, a young teen who is placed in foster care after being physically abused by his uncle. He becomes homeless after a fight with his uncle in episode 15.

The role made Cruz the first openly gay actor to play an openly gay character in a leading role in an American TV series.

Though the show ended in January 1995 after just one season, it has gone on to be remembered as an American classic.

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“The show changed my life,” Cruz previously told PEOPLE. “When I tell you that I am just grateful for Rickie Vasquez as much as anyone else?”

Cruz, who credits his onscreen character with helping his father come to terms with his sexuality, told PEOPLE. “I mean that.”

The series also starred Claire Danes and Jared Leto.

Since the show, Cruz has become an influential figure in Hollywood.

In addition to his recent roles in Star Trek: Discovery and 13 Reasons Why, Cruz serves as an LGBTQ activist.