Dear Ellen Page
Being single this Valentine’s Day, I didn’t hope for much. A good day at work. Reheated leftovers for dinner. A phone call with my mum. I certainly didn’t expect to go to bed and wake up this morning to the brave, powerful news that at the HRC Time to Thrive conference, you would make a speech where you were visibly anxious, visibly moved, and where you would come out.
And your coming out was so very moving and I am so happy for you. For knowing that mental stability and happiness lie in being true to yourself. But I am also so thankful for the rest of your speech, because I believe that so much of what you said resonates with any individual who has been in the closet.
I know there are people in this room who go to school every day and get treated like shit for no reason. Or you go home and you feel like you can’t tell your parents the whole truth about yourself. Beyond putting yourself in one box or another, you worry about the future. About college or work or even your physical safety. Trying to create that mental picture of your life—of what on earth is going to happen to you—can crush you a little bit every day. It is toxic and painful and deeply unfair.
A transcript of the entire video can be found here.
What you said made sense. It wasn’t Earth shattering or new, listening to you speak was like realising all over again that we are all working towards the same thing here; a world where people are not discriminated against because of who they love. A world where nobody blinks when you say ‘my wife and I’ or ‘my boyfriend said’. A world where kids do not want to kill themselves because just the thought of being ‘other’ makes life not worth living.
I’m inspired to be in this room because every single one of you is here for the same reason. You’re 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 5 minutes to recognize each other’s beauty, instead of attacking each other for our differences. That’s not hard. It’s really an easier and better way to live. And ultimately, it saves lives.
So thank you, Ellen Page. I applaud you on your coming out personally, but I thank you for publicly stating that you are standing beside people like me in this fight for equality, for equal rights, for acceptance. I could not image a better new sister-in-arms.Carley