This morning I saw a few tweets from news stations of “Juno star Ellen Page comes out as gay” and so on. And I thought, “Hmm. She hadn’t yet?” And then I thought about how odd it was that an actor saying that she loves women is still news. Today. Now. And I didn’t think more about it.
It was a tweet from a local actor that got me to actually listen to her announcement.
— patrick wilson (@patrickwilson73) February 15, 2014
And what the news agencies got wrong and Patrick Wilson got right is that Ellen Page didn’t “come out” — although clearly she wanted to make a formal announcement — she made a speech at the “Time to THRIVE” Conference, part of the Human Rights Campaign. This speech brings sincere and abiding concern and attention to problems that our society faces in so many ways, and it included the announcement that she is Gay. Still, her focus was on LGBT youth, those who work to end despair and isolation caused by prejudice and bullying, and the impossible, crushing standards held up by society. It was a beautifully crafted and delivered speech.
“I am inspired to be in this room because every single one of you is here for the same reason. You are 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. If we took just five minutes to recognize each other’s beauty instead of attacking each other for our differences. That’s not hard.”
I don’t mean to undercut Ellen Page’s announcement that she is Gay, or as the HRC says, her decision to live authentically. We can hear in her voice that she was nervous and relieved and happy to make this part of her private life officially public. But it’s a wider issue that she brings out so beautifully. We can all affect positive change — in classrooms, with our children, on the streets, at work, in our families, even on the silver screen. There is a lot of ugly out there that hurts and cuts and brings down; we owe it to ourselves and our children to both find and be the beautiful.
Take eight and a half minutes to listen to (or read) Ellen Page. And then go out and look for beauty. That’s not hard.
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