Ellen Page Supported For Coming Out, But Can We Really Celebrate Yet? [Video]
The actress revealed she was gay at the inaugural Time To Thrive conference on Valentine's Day.
Ellen Page came out on Friday (February 14, 2014) at the Time To Thrive conference in Las Vegas where she gave a speech on the pressures to conform to certain ideals within Hollywood. The 26 year-old Canadian star, who is best known for her break-out role in 2007's Juno, began her speech by saying "It's such an honour to be here at the inaugural Time To Thrive conference, but it's a little weird too [...] I'm surrounded by people who make it their life's work to make other people's lives better."
Ellen Page Came Out At The Time To Thrive Conference On Friday.
It was highly appropriate that Ellen's speech took place on Valentine's Day, as her words were filled with love, hope and admiration for those who continue to battle for LGBT rights. "I'm here today because I'm gay," Page said, to an extended standing ovation. "And because maybe I can make a difference - to help others have an easier and more hopeful time," she added.
Watch Ellen Page's Speech At The Time To Thrive Conference:
As a young Hollywood actress, it's a sad indictment of the industry that Page felt she had to hide for so long and muster up bravery to present herself to the world. "I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility. 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," the Inception star explained.
Page's fellow stars have quickly moved forward to congratulate the actress for her inspirational bravery, particularly in the shallow movie industry. However, it would have to take a particularly ignorant and short-sighted producer to rule that Page was no longer suitable for straight leading roles and it will be surprising if there is much negative fall-out for her career after her announcement.
The Actress Claimed To Be Tired Of "Lying By Omission."
Call us curmudgeonly, but we hesitate to celebrate upon the news of Page's sexuality because if we're not careful, a celebrity coming out will become treated as a cultural novelty - or worse - a publicity stunt by those more unscrupulous stars. What's more, all the fanfare around a famous person's coming out detracts from the harder-to-swallow LGBT issues in the world.
As a successful actress living in the Western world, Page doesn't have to worry about being ostracised by her village; she can pay for high tech security around her property to stop homophobes graffitying obscenities on her door or smashing her windows; she doesn't have to look over her shoulder every time she walks down the street to check for lynch mobs.
Since Her Announcement, Ellen Has Received An Outpouring Of Support.
The realities facing LGBT individuals in the countries where the rampant, violent hatred of homophobia isn't an issue, it's the norm. Countries like Uganda and Russia, where religion and politics try to strangle the life out of the diversity of their people and subject victims to unspeakable torture and social exclusion, will be pushed to one side as long as we continue to pop the confetti for high-profile westerners.
Homophobia is one of the greatest social issues facing our world today in every single country, therefore that Ellen Page decided to come out at a conference designed to instil pride and confidence into the LGBT community is no small triumph and is symptomatic of growing acceptance and increased public support. Ellen's decision represents a step though, not a landmark, because as clichéd as it may sound, the war is far from over.