Stephen Fry said he enjoyed the irony of winning an award for something that would have seen him jailed as a youngster.
The actor and comedian was handed the Lifetime Achievement accolade at this year's British LGBT Awards.
The star said he was touched and honoured to be awarded the gong.
Speaking to Mirror Online backstage at the bash, he said: "I feel extraordinary and very touched, very honoured, it's a very moving thing particularly because I've been given an award for something that would have actually taken me to prison when I was a teenager, and that's a remarkable thing.
"We've come a very long way, which is not to say that it's all sorted now and everything's fine."
Homosexuality was decriminalised in the UK in 1967.
The author and former QI host, who married partner Elliott Spencer in 2015, also had his say about those who moan over the sheer existence of the annual awards ceremony.
The 61-year-old said: "I know some people who are less sympathetic to the LGBT+ world say, 'Oh what are they moaning about? They've got every right they can possibly have, why are they still at it?'
"Or they're saying, 'Where are the heterosexual awards?', but forget about that, most people don't talk like that. We have to remember the pain, misery, violence, contempt, torment, teasing, stigmatisation that is going on around the rest of the world, and indeed in Northern Ireland and indeed in our own country, it's still not perfect.
"There are plenty of cases of the most egregious and homophobic violence and stigmatisation and it's something we must fight, but fight smartly and intelligently and with grace and charm and by showing the example of the fact that in nature there are hundreds of examples of same sex behaviour.
"There is no example in nature of homophobia, so let's make people think about it that way, of what's unnatural? What's unantural is to be scared and fight because of who people love and how they identify because it's a peculiar thing that should be a blip in our human history and we should get over it."
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