"You should be proud of being different, proud of who you are."
One day in a not-so-distant future, the words "Ellen" and "awards show" may be pretty much synonymous.
I mean, she's taken home 27 Emmy Awards, been nominated for a handful of Golden Globe Awards, been nominated for couple of Grammys, and cleaned up at the People's Choice Awards. Once you add in the fact that she's hosted the Emmys, Grammys, and Oscars, you've got Ellen DeGeneres — awards show titan.
On Sunday night, she took home the award for Choice Comedian at the annual Teen Choice Awards.
For the fifth (yes, fifth) time, she came out on top in the voting, beating out the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Hart, Jimmy Kimmel, George Lopez, and Amy Schumer.
What makes this win special? Two things: It's her and Portia's anniversary (congrats, you two!), and the speech she delivered was just so touching.
Ellen's speech centered on what it's like being different and why we should all be proud of who we are.
It's hard being different, especially when you're younger. Being different — or even just perceived as being different — can lead to some really nasty bullying.
The Teen Choice Awards show was the perfect place for Ellen to share this message.
Since coming out as lesbian in a 1997 episode of her ABC sitcom "Ellen," she's been a very public LGBT figure. At the time, coming out was a huge deal, and she faced some major backlash over it. While things can still be tough for LGBT adults, it's especially hard to be an LGBT teen struggling to come out.
Nearly 85% of LGBT students experience verbal bullying.
In 2009, GLSEN released the results of a survey of 7,261 students between the ages of 13 and 21. In addition to finding that nearly 85% of LGBT students were verbally bullied, they learned that 40% were physically harassed and 19% were assaulted at school because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
For these teens, it can be hard to see being different as anything but a curse. That's why hearing this message from someone who has overcome these same challenges to become one of the country's most beloved TV personalities is inspiring — and maybe even life-saving.