Actress Ellen Page came out as a lesbian publicly (hurrah!) via #TimetoTHRIVE — her speech is inspirational & applicable on so many levels; this weekend holding both #ValentinesDay & #FamilyDay (Canada) — I urge you to take a few minutes to google it. A lengthy excerpt below that I find particularly poignant & empowering — know that the time has also come for you to allow yourself to be lovingly unapologetic about your truths; it isn’t about making others feel bad about their choices, but being brave with our lives so that we may live fully with and by the love & compassion we value, and so that others may free themselves to do the same.
What Ms. Page says rings true universally — for human & animal rights (they are the same…), respectively: “…I’m inspired to be [here] because every single one of you is here for the same reason. You’re here because you’ve adopted as a core motivation the simple fact that this world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another. If we took just 5 minutes to recognize each other’s beauty instead of attacking each other for our differences - that’s not hard - it’s really an easier & better way to live, and ultimately it saves lives. Then again it can be the hardest thing, because loving other people starts with loving & accepting ourselves, and many of you have struggled with this - and I draw upon your support in ways that you will never know. I am 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. I also do it selfishly, because I’m tired of hiding, and I’m 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 that pain. […] What I have learned is that love, the beauty of it, the joy of it - yes, even the pain of it - is the most incredible gift to give and receive as a […] *being*, and we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise. There are too many […] out there suffering from bullying, rejection, simply being mistreated because of who they are; […] too much abuse, too many homeless, too many [deaths]. You can change that, and you are changing it - but you never needed me to tell you that, and that’s why this was a little bit weird. The only thing that I can really say is […]: Thank You. Thank you for inspiring me, thank you for giving me hope, and please keep changing the world for people like me. Happy Valentines Day - I love you.”
Fittingly (and reposted from just a few weeks ago) again - quoting the equally eloquent #animalrights activist Jasmin Singer of @ourhenhouse, gay & animal rights activist Ben Strothmann (aka the fabulous @HoneyLaBronx) so beautifully & powerfully sums up what I wish to convey: “‘Those who deny #people their fundamental #humanity because they are #gay must force themselves to not really see the people whom they are oppressing; if they truly allowed themselves to see us they would not be able to avoid our fellow humanity, our similar needs & desires, our participation in the #human community with both its wonders & its deep flaws.’ …it speaks so well to gay rights and to animal rights […] and because I recognize all the freedoms I have and how much I enjoy them, I can recognize how much I would suffer if those were taken away from me. And so I cannot be the cause of anyone else’s suffering because I don’t want suffering for myself, and if I don’t want it for myself - if it’s not good enough for me it’s not good enough for anybody or anything. …I refuse to be a gay who thinks the buck stops here now that everyone’s treating me like I want to be treated….” #Humanrights are animal rights. Gay rights are women’s rights are #race equality rights are #species rights. We are not cheap #commodities; we are not something, but someone. We are #animals, us all. Please listen to Ben’s inspirational, candid & casual exceptional perspective & air-tight argument for gay / animal rights with #ErinRed on #RedRadio : http://erinred.com/2012/03/ep16-gay-rightsanimal-rights-with-ben-strothmannhoney-labronx/