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'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.
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.
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 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.
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."