It isn't easy to be yourself in 2019. There can be blocks at every turn from speaking out; speaking your mind or speaking the truth. That's why when it happens, we sit up and pay attention.
It's why I've always been a fan of activist and actress Ellen Page. She's excellent on screen but it was when, after years of feeling pressured to conform in Hollywood, she stood up and openly said, enough is enough. She proudly said she was gay, and wanted to give others the voice she struggled to find.
She has continued to champion LGBTQ rights ever since.
"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."
This week, Empire star Jussie Smollett was horrifically attacked in Chicago in what police are characterising as a possible hate crime. The assault involved two men yelling out “racial and homophobic slurs” at Smollett, pouring an “unknown chemical substance” on him, and wrapping a rope around his neck, according to the Chicago Police Department.
Now, in an emotionally-charged appearance on The Late Show, Page has blasted President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence (he has openly stood against marriage equality, against abortion, against adoption by same-sex couples and against LGBTQ people serving in the armed forces), insisting that it is their anti-LGBTQ policies which have led to such hatred and intolerance.
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) February 1, 2019
“The vice president of America wishes I didn’t have the love with my wife."
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“He wanted to ban that in Indiana, he believes in conversion therapy, he has hurt LGBTQ people so badly as the governor of Indiana.”
“If you are in a position of power and you hate people and you want to cause suffering to them, you go through the trouble, you spend your career trying to cause suffering — what do you think is going to happen?"
“Kids are going to be abused, and they’re going to kill themselves and people are going to be beaten on the street.”
Page is brave; her words are powerful and should be watched and shared.