04/16/2008 at 12:00 AM EDT
of ABC's Brothers & Sisters
is going public with his sexuality.
In an interview with Toronto's Globe and Mail
Tuesday, the London, Ontario-born actor said that while this is the first time he's publicly coming out, it isn't a secret to his family and friends. "There is this desire in L.A. to wonder who you are and what's been blaring for me for the last three years is how can I be most authentic to myself – so this is the first time I am speaking about it in this way," says MacFarlane.
A spokesperson for GLAAD applauded the actors decision, telling PEOPLE, "Any time someone in the public eye chooses to live their life openly and with authenticity, it has tremendous impact in terms of creating awareness, understanding and acceptance."
The interview also comes on the heels of an important episode of the ABC drama that centers on his character Scotty Wandell's marriage to main character Kevin Walker (Matthew Rhys
). "We're saying, 'This can be part of the cultural fabric, now,' because it is two series regulars, two that you invite into your home and you see every week. It's telling of the beginning of more waves and I'm very proud of that."
While the episode may seem like a sweeps stunt, MacFarlane hopes that the focus will be on the normalcy of his on-screen relationship. "It's about two who love each other and who have decided to commit to each other for the exact same reasons any other couple would get married. Hopefully, the more that becomes part of the cultural awareness it won't be ... a spectacular Sunday episode." – Jonathan Stern