Jaden smith, an outspoken LGBT rights advocate, will be inducted into the Gay Pride Hall of Fame, the Canadian branch of the United Nations LGBT rights agency announced Thursday.
Smith, a Toronto-born actor and comedian, is the latest to join the organization’s elite list of distinguished honorees, which was announced by the United States Embassy in Ottawa in March.
The hall, which will be open to the public from Feb. 17-23, will also feature a panel discussion on how the Canadian LGBT community is shaping up in a globalised world.
Smith said his acceptance of gay marriage and his continued support of the LGBT community has made him “more comfortable” as an actor, and he wants the award to reflect that.
“As an actor I’m just a normal gay guy, I just do the normal thing,” he told CBC News in a phone interview.
“I’m just happy for everybody else.
It’s just that I’m gay.
I just don’t see it as an issue.”
The Hall of Honour, founded in 2006, is a prestigious ceremony in Canada that honors the outstanding contributions of people and organizations of the past, present and future.
It also serves as a platform for Canadian and international leaders to discuss and celebrate Canada’s diversity and inclusion, said the United Kingdom’s ambassador to Canada, Ian Hogg.
The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., where the organization is based.
Smith will be a finalist for the honour.
The LGBT community in Canada is still grappling with the changing landscape of the country.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples could legally wed in the country, and a federal law is set to take effect on June 15.
Smith said he was “heartened” by the ruling.
Smith also said he has a “deep understanding” of the challenges faced by people who identify as transgender.
“The idea of being transgender in a society that was always against you being yourself, that you were a man, that’s just a very difficult idea to wrap your head around,” he said.
“That’s one of the things that I think is going to be really exciting to see in terms of the coming year is that the next step in this process is for the next generation of people to have a say.”
Smith has made his sexuality known on the screen before.
He appeared in two of the best-selling animated films of all time, “The Incredibles” and “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and starred in the television series “Family Guy” and in the sitcom “Louie.”
Smith said he would be “sad” to have to announce his sexuality publicly.
“It’s not about me,” he joked.
“But I’m a man and I’m happy to be gay, and I’ll be honest with you, that was a tough decision, and it’s still tough to make.”
For me, it’s about being a role model for the LGBTQ community, because I know the struggles that people go through.
“When I was growing up, I had a lot of gay friends.
I remember my friend Brian [the creator of the “Louies”] and my friend Tom [the voice of Charlie Brown].””
I remember being very open and wanting to tell them that I was gay, that I loved them.
I felt like I was the one who was supposed to be on top of them, that there was something missing in my life, that the people that I liked and loved were the ones who didn’t know who I was.”