Leave it to talk show host Ellen DeGeneres to start the Teen Choice Awards off on an ultra-positive note. DeGeneres, who was celebrating her seventh anniversary with wife Portia de Rossi at Sunday’s celebration in Los Angeles, California, was chosen at the awards ceremony as Choice Comedian. The award was the first of the night for the Teen Choice Awards, held at USC’s Galen Center.
“You know they say teens make bad decisions but you made a very good decision tonight by choosing me,” DeGeneres said. “That was smart, smart, smart. All of you.”
DeGeneres also joked that she had forgotten her surfboard at home, so the Teen Choice Award she had just won would come in handy.
“I was on my way to the beach, I had forgotten my surfboard so this will come in handy,” she said. “I’ll put it on top of my car.”
While that garnered laughter from the audience, it was the comedian’s next words that garnered the most attention. DeGeneres has been a longtime advocate for celebrating one’s own uniqueness, and she encouraged everyone in the audience to embrace their own differences.
“I wanna say also it feels good to be chosen but there was a time in my life that I was not chosen,” DeGeneres said. “I was the opposite of chosen because I was different, and I think I wanna make sure that everyone knows that what makes you different right now, makes you stand out later in life. So you should be proud of being different, proud of who you are.”
Earlier this summer, DeGeneres reached out to a young boy who feared no one would like him because he was gay. Humans of New York has busily posted images, through the power of Facebook, of New York residents going about their daily lives and sharing, essentially, what makes them tick. The boy said that he was “homosexual and…afraid about what (his) future will be and that people won’t like (him).”
DeGeneres commented on the Humans of New York post, reaching out to the little boy. “Not only will people like you, they’ll love you. I just heard of you and I love you already,” she said via the post’s Facebook thread.
No doubt DeGeneres had that little boy in her thoughts when she encouraged those at the Teen Choice Awards to be proud of who they were. Her fans were ecstatic at the win, noting they were touched at DeGeneres dedicating the award to her wife de Rossi and her acceptance speech as a whole.
The 13th season of Ellen premieres September 8. The premiere also boasts a new theme song, courtesy of another teen favorite, P!nk.
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment)