On Feb. 14, at a Human Rights Campaign conference for LGBT youths, 26-year-old actress Ellen Page publicly announced that she is gay.
The former Oscar nominee gave a moving and emotional speech about her wish to live "an open and authentic life."
"I'm here today because I am gay," Page told an audience in Las Vegas, NV at the Time to Thrive conference for LGBT youth. "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."
The actress also said that she is coming out because she is "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."
"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. Then again, it's not easy at all. It can be the hardest thing, because loving other people starts with loving ourselves and accepting ourselves. I know many of you have struggled with this. I draw upon your strength and your support, and have, in ways you will never know."