Adopt this Core Motivation: Recognize Beauty

Ellen-Page2This 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.

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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About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to car culture, dealing with leaving a career I loved, and spouting off along the way. Do The Most Good.
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14 Responses to Adopt this Core Motivation: Recognize Beauty

  1. Karen says:

    I read Ellen Page’s speech this morning when I was travelling home from a stressful family visit, and it made my day a whole lot brighter. Her message is powerful, and she’s so articulate.

    The part that spoke to me most was this:

    “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.”

    Thank you for sharing it here.


  2. Daniel Nest says:

    Beautiful and touching speech. Watched it in full even before I got to the end of your post. Thanks for sharing!

  3. aishasoasis says:

    I believe and hope the day is coming when our interactions with each other are more positive and friendly. As they say the first step to the cure is recognizing the problem. I think people are starting to get this, dont you?

  4. Vanessa D. says:

    Thank you for posting the link to Ellen’s speech, I might not have had the opportunity to read it otherwise. It’s exceptional and she is an admirable young woman.

  5. Somehow we have to get to the point where this is never news, but for now it has tremendous value for educating the ignorant and intolerant.

  6. Natalie DeYoung says:

    I wasn’t surprised by her announcement, but I was pleased to listen to her speech. She is spot on about needing to be less horrible to one another; it’s one of the things that makes me world-weary, the way we treat each other so poorly.
    Thank you so much for sharing this.

    • It’s too easy to judge and eye-roll and snark. Believe me, I know. But it’s speeches like this and other events that remind me to keep trying to be better. You never know how it affects the person on the receiving end.

  7. Larks says:

    I reacted to the coverage of her announcement the same way you did. “Ellen Page is gay? Okay. Why is this a thing?” and then I skipped over it on something else because at this point another out actor doesn’t seem too earth shattering. But you’re so right: it’s not just a coming out speech, it’s so much more, and it’s really great. I’m glad you posted it!

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