5 life lessons we learned watching Ellen Page's heartfelt acceptance speech.

On Oct. 3, Ellen Page accepted the Human Rights Campaign's National Vanguard Award.

The celebrated actress and tireless advocate received the award for her courage, leadership, and support for the LGBT community at the 19th Annual HRC National Dinner in Washington, D.C.


Page onstage. Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images.

Page's stirring acceptance speech was full of passion, gratitude, and agency, and it was incredibly well-received. The crowd repeatedly broke out into bursts of applause and cheers, encouraging the visibly nervous Page to continue her inspiring message.

Here are important lessons we can all learn from Ellen Page's powerful testimony:

1. Never forget how far you've come.

Before coming out just over 18 months ago, Page was in a dark place.

All GIFs from Human Rights Campaign.

Since then, with the support of the HRC, the actress is doing things she never thought she'd be able to do: hold her girlfriend's hand on the red carpet, kiss in public, and fall in love.

Page with girlfriend Samantha Thomas before the HRC National Dinner. Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images.

But even with new love and a thriving career, Page doesn't forget or shy away from the time in her life when all of that was a faint possibility.

And she continues to fight for others who are desperate for the same chance at happiness.

2. We can all do something to help.

As Page said in her HRC speech, she has "had the great fortune to meet some of the most brave and inspiring people I have ever come across."

Hearing those stories, she says, has "been a life-changing experience" that "made me even more aware of my privilege."

Page at the San Sebastian Film Festival. Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images.

Page has been traveling and filming her new TV show ("Gaycation with Ellen Page"), which explores what it's like to be LGBT in different parts of the world.

As Page herself said, "It has become increasingly apparent to me that we all need to use our influence, whatever it may be, to help others."

While few of us can commit to global outreach, we can all do our part to make the world a little better for each other.

3. Intolerance is dangerous, but it can be defeated.

Intolerance leads to an alarming number of homeless LGBT youth and to transgender women of color having a life expectancy of only 35. 35!

But even with these alarming statistics, Page reminds us that all is not lost. She has "hope [that] things will change, that the future does bring true equality. Because as it has been proven in 2015, love wins."

Speaking of which...

4. It all comes down to those four little letters.

Coming out is the first step toward understanding, accepting, and celebrating one another. No matter your sexual orientation or gender expression, Page suggests we're united by a common, undeniable thread: love.

5. And finally, don't give up. There is light. There is hope. Don't ever give up.

It's a lesson all of us should use, remember, pin, save, and tattoo over our hearts. No matter what you're struggling with, the possibility of a bright future lay ahead.

Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images.

Page gave this advice to anyone struggling to see the brightness of a happier tomorrow:

"In your darkest moments, and most challenging struggles, please remember the tide is turning. Within our reach is a more peaceful, and just horizon. And I've gotten a glimpse of that horizon. And I wish that feeling, that overwhelmingly life-affirming feeling for each one of you."

Brava, Ellen! Cheer along with the crowd and watch her heartfelt speech in its entirety.

Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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