Grey’s Anatomy isn’t just tending to physical pain of those in the operating room; but helping viewers emotional baggage too.

Ellen Pompeo gushed to Ellen Degeneres about how she’s often approached by crying fans who have a meaningful connection with the show. Especially one teen actor, who uses the show to educate his parents on being gay:

“A teenager was in the show, and he was gay, and played a gay character on the show. After we had filmed the whole entire episode he said, ‘My whole life I’ve watched the show with my parents and I’ve sort of used the show to tell my parents I’m gay,’ ” she said, before tearing up. “

‘To show my parents: It’s okay that I’m not different and there’s nothing wrong with me. Grey’s really helped my parents to understand what having a gay son meant and that it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.’ ”

And it’s reasons like this that Pompeo isn’t looking to leave Meredith behind any time soon: “I got to keep doing it, man, because we’re touching lives and making a difference.”

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Ellen was recently honoured with a GLSEN Respect Award for her “inspirational” work with various charities, and allyship to the LGBT+ community.