By now you may have heard that acclaimed actress Ellen Page came out publicly on Friday, much to the delight of allies, fans, and LGBTs everywhere. If you haven’t heard, let me bring you up to date: while speaking at the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Time to Thrive conference, an event benefitting LGBT youth, Page brought up unfair entertainment industry standards, stereotypes about masculinity and femininity, and how safe and empowered she feels by the activists, families, and allies that are working to provide a better quality of life for LGBTs. She also announced, for the first time publicly, that she is gay.
In an emotional, inspiring coming out, Page said,
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 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 that pain.
Page’s words resonated deeply with her audience at Time to Thrive, which gave her an enthusiastic standing ovation when her speech ended, as well as the millions of people who have since watched her speak online after The Hollywood Reporter broke the story. Page has received a huge outpouring of support from fans and fellow actors, including Kristen Bell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Anna Kendrick, and Kate Mara, who even tweeted, “Hey @EllenPage…Be my Valentine?”
It seems that Page’s coming out is the first step the actress is taking towards genuine self-acceptance, which as her speech revealed, has been a long time coming. Happily, Page’s humble words have sparked an overwhelmingly positive reaction and subsequent dialogue surrounding LGBT issues, and how hard it can be for gay, lesbian, and transgender youth to come out. There is great optimism being spread in the LGBT community right now; Page’s coming out will undoubtedly help others accept themselves, and bring more widespread attention to LGBT issues.
Watch Ellen Page’s speech at the HRC Time to Thrive Conference here.
Image 1: EllenPageFans via Instagram
Image 2: via hrc.org