Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Photo: Honorary Green Glamazon: Jesse Tyler Ferguson at the 2012 People's Choice Awards

Jesse Tyler Ferguson may play the buttoned-up, somewhat formal-in-public Mitchell Pritchett on Modern Family, but he’s anything but shy or conservative in real life.

Jesse spoke at the University of Pennsylvania this week, and opened up about why this role means so much to him: “It’s because we’re representing [the gay community] and there is such a spotlight on us...We’re representing that [group] in a network television sitcom.”

As a member of the gay community himself, Jesse has been vocal in the past about the importance of Mitchell and Cam’s (Eric Stonestreet) realistic relationship as partners in love with a baby on Modern Family.

Surprisingly, however, Jesse admits that “I was a really shy kid.” Though that didn’t stop him from preparing monologues and actually charging his parents money to watch him perform in his family’s living room as a child. Precocious or not, we admire Jesse, and hope he continues to stay vocal about a story as subtly inspiring as Mitch and Cam’s.

Watch a new episode of Modern Family on Wednesday, February 8 at 9pm ET/PT on ABC.

Source: Daily Pennsylvanian

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