LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Ellen Page, who won the hearts of moviegoers as the pregnant teenager in the 2007 film "Juno," has come out as gay.
The 26-year-old was in Las Vegas Friday addressing a conference of counselors who work with teenagers who identify as lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual or queer, when she told them, halfway through her 8-minute speech, "I am here today because I am gay."
Page was visibly nervous and the crowd got to their feet, applauding her, as she let the statement breathe for a moment.
She said she decided to come out because, "Maybe I can make a difference, to help others have an easier and more hopeful time. I also do it selfishly because I'm tired of hiding, and I'm tired of lying by omission."
A video of her speech was posted on the Human Rights Campaign Youtube channel.
She thanked the counselors attending HRC's "Time to Thrive" Conference for the work that they do.
"There is courage in this room, all of you. And I'm inspired to be in this room because all of you are here for the same reason. All of you have 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," Page said. "Then again, it can be the hardest thing because loving other people starts with loving ourselves and accepting ourselves."
"And I know many of you have struggled with this. I draw upon your strength and your support in ways in which you will never know. And I am here today because I am gay," she said.
The actress says she suffered for years because she was afraid to come out. She told the audience, "I'm standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of that pain."
"And 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 it fully, equally, without shame and without compromise," she said.
Page received an Oscar nomination for her performance in "Juno." She also had major roles in "X-Men: The Last Stand" in 2006 and "Inception" in 2010.
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