Ellen Page at the Human Rights Campaign’s Time to Thrive Conference, on Friday, February, 14, 2014 in Las Vegas. Photo by Jeff Bottari/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign
On the 14th of February 2014, many of us watched Ellen Page, emotional and trembling but also with grace and pride, as she came out to the world at a Human Rights Campaign Time to Thrive conference in Las Vegas.
Page, star of the movie Juno and the X-Men: Days of Future Past, reminds us of the difficulties people still face in coming to terms with their sexual identity and in coming out.
We deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise.
Page’s coming out took place 17 years after Ellen DeGeneres declared “Yep, I’m Gay” on the cover of Time. What courage it took DeGeneres then!
Unfortunately, it still requires courage today.
You may think that if you identify as straight or heterosexual then the issue of coming out does not, and will not, apply to you.
But being straight doesn’t mean you have to be narrow. You may not know it now but, the reality is, you are going to have people in your life who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
You may remember the campaign Year 7 Self which went viral in June 2013. The campaign was based on a short film which shows seven young adults, who identify as straight, talking to their seven year old selves. These people were given the opportunity to go back in time and tell their younger selves how they could better treat people who identify as lesbian, bisexual, gay or transgender.
This is important. Our sexuality or gender identity is irrelevant. And if you have ever sung along to the lyrics of Macklemore’s song (with Ryan Lewis and featuring Mary Lambert) ‘Same Love,’ you will understand what we mean:
Strip away the fear. Underneath it’s all the same love…. About time that we raised up.
Let’s celebrate our differences. And let’s remember that underneath all our differences, it really is the same love.
Here is a video that will remind you that we all have feelings, emotions, families, we love, we laugh, we cry and we all want to be happy.
You can also check out the Minus18 website for more great videos, forums and events for LGBTI youth.
For more information about Gender & Sexuality click here.