Actor Curtis Hamilton is undoubtedly the breakout star– and the heart– of MTV’s The Real Friends of WeHo.

In a recent sit-down conversation with Blavity and Shadow and Act Managing Editor Trey Mangum, Hamilton spoke about being a part of the show and using it as his public “coming out.”

“I think in this business, very few people get to dictate things,” Hamilton said to Mangum. “You go out for a lot of things and you don’t get the job…so opportunities come up and you’re going to take it or you’re not,” he said. “I feel like this opportunity came up when it came up and I felt like I was in a time and a place where…I had the dream of booking this big job, making all of this money, and then I’ll come out and I’ll tell my story because if things don’t work out my way, I’m good financially. That hasn’t been the case for me, so when this came up, I felt like I was at a place where I want to be more of a voice, I want to be more honest.”

He continued, “I want to have a career that is truthful, that is honest, that people can look at and they see somebody within themselves. I can’t be that if I’m not being my real self, so I thought this opportunity was great for me to kind of present myself. I knew I was going to come on the show and be intentional, and hopefully, that will lead people [accept] that I did this decision, because I know before they saw, they were like, ‘Why the hell is Curtis doing this reality TV [show]? What is he doing? This is career suicide,’ all of those things. But I knew why I did it and I had to be content with that.”

Hamilton said that after the show has come out, things are “up in the air” with his family and his career, but he is having faith in the path forward.

“I feel like right now with family, it’s still an ongoing thing, but look…it took me thirty-something years. I got to give them grace, I got to give them patience and I’ve got to understand that they’re not going to understand in a way that I am and where I’m at right now because it took me a long time to get here,” he said. “So I have to give them time and I have to educate them and hopefully they’re receptive to my story, my journey, my truth…they’re not there right now, but I’m not surprised.”

“When it comes to the industry, I don’t know…it’s up in the air. I hope to God that they just really respect my talent and my work ethic and all the things that I’ve done because I’ve worked my butt off… to get to where I am and I don’t cheat the game,” he continued. “I’m an athlete–we work hard, I went through training, I didn’t just jump into this. I respect the craft in that way and hopefully, that’s all that matters to them. I don’t call the shots, so I just have to put it in God’s hands in that regard.”

You can watch the full interview, in which Hamilton calls making the show like “therapy” for him, in the video below.

The Real Friends of WeHo stars Hamilton with Brad Goreski, Todrick Hall, Dorión Renaud, Jaymes Vaughan and Joey Zauzig as gay men in the entertainment industry who are living life in West Hollywood as they experience challenges in their careers and their friendships. According to the official description:

The Real Friends of WeHo is an unfiltered and honest look at a select group of friends living, loving and pursuing their passions in the West Hollywood community. Consisting of some of Hollywood’s most influential and successful LGBTQ+ celebrities, personalities and entrepreneurs, this revealing and witty new ensemble docuseries provides an up close and personal glimpse into their lives as they perform in front of crowds of thousands, make high stakes business deals, celebrate important life milestones, work the red carpet, and reveal their most intimate truths to family and friends. In a town and community where image and status are everything, they’re ready to pull back the Hollywood curtain and reveal their most authentic selves not just to one another but the world.

The Real Friends of WeHo airs Fridays at 9/8c on MTV.

Wood is best known as a correspondent on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah. He was recently nominated for an Emmy for producing the PBS documentary, The Neutral Ground.

AAFCA award recipients this year include The Woman King for Best Picture, with its director Gina Prince-Bythwood winning Best Director. Jeremy Pope has been recognized with Best Actor honors for his performance in The Inspection, with Danielle Deadwyler winning Best Actress for her performance in Till, Angela Bassett for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Brian Tyree Henry for Best Supporting Actor for Causeway.

The awards show will feature many more performers and filmmakers that have been recognized for their achievements this past year.

Roy Wood Jr said of the announcement, “I’m honored to host the AAFCA Awards where we can come together and celebrate the incredible films and performances that have inspired and uplifted our community.”

AAFCA President/CEO Gil Robertson said, “AAFCA is excited to have the multi-talented Roy Wood Jr. host the 14th edition of the AAFCA Awards. Roy is one of the most electrifying comedic voices in our business. He’s funny, insightful and irreverent and we’re looking forward to a fabulous evening of fun and celebration.”