Ellen Page came out as gay at a conference in support of LGBT teens on Friday, saying that her mental health, relationships and spirit have suffered from hiding her sexuality.
“I am here today because I am gay,” the 26-year-old actress from Halifax said in an emotional speech at the Time to THRIVE conference in Las Vegas. “Maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time.”
The star, whose breakthrough role in the 2007 film Juno earned her an Oscar nomination, went on to speak candidly and honestly about the years she spent “lying by omission.”
“I suffered for years because I was scared to be out,” she continued. “I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of that pain.”
Thanking those at the conference for their contribution to the community, she said: “There are too many kids out there suffering from bullying, rejection, or simply being mistreated because of who they are. Too many dropouts. Too much abuse. Too many homeless. Too many suicides. You can change that, and you are changing it. But you never needed me to tell you that. ...”
“Thank you for inspiring me, thank you for giving me hope, and please keep changing the world for people like me. Happy Valentine’s day.”