Juno star Ellen Page was invited to speak at the Human Rights Campaign‘s “Time to Thrive” conference yesterday. Visibly nervous, she spoke eloquently about the “crushing standards” of Hollywood, the emerging courage of LGBT figures in the spotlight, and how the simple act of compassion has the power to save lives: “I’m inspired to be in this room because every single one of you is here for the same reason; you’re here because you’ve adopted, as a core motivation, the simple fact that this world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another.”
At the 5:20 mark, the actress, 26, announced, “I am here today because I am gay.” The statement brought her speech to a halt as the audience applauded, cheered, and gave her a standing ovation. She emotionally continued, “And because maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility. I also do it selfishly, because I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered, and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain.”
“Love—the beauty of it, the joy of it, and yes, even the pain of it—is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being, and we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise.”
She concluded by thanking the crowd for giving her hope and wished everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day.
Good for you, Ellen.