Actress Ellen Page came out as gay yesterday, in a poignant and inspiring speech at the Human Rights Campaign’s conference for LGBTQ teens.
“I’m here today because I am gay, and because maybe I can make a difference,” she said. “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.”
While coming out can be frightening, Ellen admits it was the idea of always lying about who she was that was scarier.
“I suffered for years because I was scared to be out,” she said. “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.”
We applaud Ellen’s bravery, as it is particularly rare for a young, female actress to come out, for fear of being typecast in roles and shut out of parts. In her speech, Ellen addressed the pitfalls of Hollywood by saying, “It’s weird because here I am, an actress, representing, at least in some sense, an industry that places crushing standards on all of us. Not just young people, but everyone. Standards of beauty. Of a good life. Of success. Standards that, I hate to admit, have affected me. You have ideas planted in your head, thoughts you never had before, that tell you how you have to act, how you have to dress and who you have to be. I have been trying to push back, to be authentic, to follow my heart, but it can be hard.”
We find her honesty totally refreshing.
If you or someone you know is struggling with coming out, there are organizations and resources available for you. Check out the action links below.
Guide To Coming Out
Check out the HRC's Guide to Coming Out if you or a friend needs guidance.
See how you can get involved with the Human Rights Campaign.