While India’s regressive and redundant Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalizes homosexuality, making it a blanket rule in our country to be homophobic by law. Our celebrities, barring a few, have receded to back walls of the closet. Elsewhere though in the Hollywood celebritydom, empowerment comes way more liberally. Following in the shoes of Ellen Degeneres and Jodie Foster’s very public “out”ing, Ellen Page came out at a Human Rights Campaign meet called Time Thrive Conference that supports the LGBT community worlwide, at Las Vegas on February 14, 2014. In IST, it happened just a few hours ago.
The Academy Award nominated actress and star of “Juno” in a riveting and emotional eight minute speech said, “I’m here today because I am gay. And because, maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.”
Shen continued, “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. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain. I am young, yes, but what I have learned is that love, the beauty of it, the joy of it and yes, even the pain of it, is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being. And we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise.”
The room erupted in applause filled standing ovation.