Jesse Tyler Ferguson Loves the Security of His Modern Family Gig

11/18/2011 at 04:30 PM EST

Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson Named Out100's Artist of the Year
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Courtesy OUT
It's been a big year for Jesse Tyler Ferguson: his hit show Modern Family continues to sweep award shows, he's found love, and he was just named OUT100's "Artist of the Year."

Of the honor, Ferguson joked to OUT100: "Jane Lynch must have said, 'I don't want it this year, stop showering me with praise, please give it to someone else.' And I was, like, fourth on the Someone Else list."

Ferguson, 36, may be modest, but he also realizes how lucky he is to be part of such a popular and admired series.

"To have job security and to have it on a show that people are looking to as a cultural touchstone for gay marriage – that's extraordinary," he says.

While the actor isn't married in real life, he has been with his boyfriend, lawyer Justin Mikita, for nearly a year now. It was at Elle's Women in Television event in January that the two were unexpectedly introduced to the press as a couple.

"We were holding hands as we went around the corner, and suddenly we were on the red carpet," Ferguson said. "I wasn't going to stop holding his hand."

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