In an interview with the Huffington Post, Messing said she had an inspirational teacher who died from HIV/AIDS.
“Once Will & Grace became the socially important show that it became, it really did start to feel like that was sort of part of my life mission,” Messing said.
Messing was honored by Equality California for her work in promoting gay civil rights by bringing “the stories of LGBT people to television and stage.”
In 2000, she was publicly against Proposition 22, the state law banning gays and lesbians from marrying.
“For me, it’s a no-brainer,” Messing said. “Equal rights means equal rights for everybody.”
Messing also said her role on the cancelled NBC series Smash has to do with her passion for equality.
“It was also showing the world a community that is not often celebrated or that people don’t really know very much about,” she said. “I think there’s something thematic about [my] work.”
Messing will starring in the upcoming show The Mysteries of Laura, based on a famous Spanish series about a homicide detective.