(CNN) -- Actor Kristian Nairn -- aka Hodor on "Game of Thrones" -- was never in the closet.

But as a firm believer in the need to "stand up and be counted," Nairn has confirmed he's gay in an interview with "GoT" fan site Winter Is Coming.

"(W)hen you talk about 'the gay community,' you are talking about MY community," Nairn said when questioned about his gay fan base. "I've never hidden my sexuality from anyone, my whole life in fact, and I've been waiting for someone to ask about it in an interview, (because) it's not something you just blurt out. I've tried to lead the questions a few times, to no avail!"

Now that the moment has come, Nairn was more than happy to "come out" in the media.

"I had an upbringing to respect other people's privacy, and their right to be and choose what they want, and I expect -- no, demand -- no less for myself," Nairn continued. "It's a very small part of who I am on the whole, but nonetheless, in this day and age, it's important to stand up and be counted. I have and always will stand my ground."

Nairn told Winter Is Coming that the crew on HBO's fantasy series "have been great," and he's quite appreciative of the gay community's support.

"I am aware of it," he said of his LGBT fans, "and I think it's really lovely. There's not a day that I don't get a few messages, but 99% or more are supersweet and nothing smutty at all!" Nairn said. "Again, it's a privilege, and I really mean that."

Nairn will return with the rest of the "Game of Thrones" cast in April, when season four bows on April 6.

"I never dreamed things would have turned out how they have," he said of the success of the show. "Things seem to keep happening that I constantly have to check myself and think 'Really? Is this real?' I knew Hodor would be a popular character ... but I didn't think to the level he has so far! I love the guy, I can see why people like him. It's a testament to (author George R.R. Martin, who wrote the books the series is based on) and the show that they can make every character so wonderful."