Ellen Page was one of the many guests to attend the Human Rights Campaign’s Time to THRIVE conference on Valentine’s Day. The conference was held at the Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and is held to help inspire and promote the welfare of today’s LGBT youth.
Ellen took the stage wearing a very causal black t-shirt with the red and pink equal sign, and blue jeans. She started her speech by thanking the Human Rights Campaign for all of their hard work in helping the gay, lesbian, and transgender youth across the US.
She then proceeded to talk about her personal inner struggle before revealing that she was also a gay woman.
“I’m here today because I am gay. 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. I am young, yes, but what I have learned is that 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.
“There are too many kids out there suffering from bullying, rejection, or simply being mistreated because of who they are. Too many dropouts. Too much abuse. Too many homeless. Too many suicides. You can change that and you are changing it.
“But you never needed me to tell you that. That’s why this was a little bit weird. The only thing I can really say is what I’ve been building up to for the past five minutes. Thank you. Thank for inspiring me. Thank you for giving me hope, and please keep changing the world for people like me.”
Mikki Cichocki, one of the educators in the room when Ellen gave her speech, recalled how powerful and overwhelming it was. “It was exhilarating,” Cichocki explained. “You didn’t know this was going to happen. You could see her sense of relief, like, ‘I got it out. I said it out loud.'”
When Ellen revealed that she was gay, she received a standing ovation, and support from every person in the room. “There was this collective wave of emotion just supporting her, and a roar when she did actually say the words,” said Cichocki. “You knew you just saw something that was momentous.”
After the event, Ellen took to her personal Twitter account to thank her fans for their support. “Just wanted to take a moment to say how moved I am by all the support,” Ellen tweeted. “I feel profoundly grateful right now. xxxx”
Just wanted to take a moment to say how moved I am by all the support. I feel profoundly grateful right now. xxxx
— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) February 17, 2014
Watch Ellen’s full speech below:
[Image via Bing]