Justice

Ellen DeGeneres Brilliantly Explains Why You're Lucky to Be Different

Ellen DeGeneres won the Choice Comedian Award at the 2015 Teen Choice Awards, and she used her acceptance speech as an opportunity to discuss the beauty of being different.

"I want to say also it feels good to be chosen but there was a time in my life that I was not chosen," DeGeneres, who is openly gay, said. "I was the opposite of chosen because I was different, and I think I want to make sure that everyone knows that what makes you different right now, makes you stand out later in life. So you should be proud of being different, proud of who you are."


DeGeneres went on to add that she's "pro-Teen Choice" despite the unfortunate reputation teens oftentimes receive.

"You know they say teens make bad decisions but you made a very good decision tonight by choosing me," she said. "That was smart, smart, smart. All of you... I won a People’s Choice Award, I would think that teens would be in that category. I don’t know why teens are not in the 'people' category but if they’re breaking it down, I’d like an award from the elderly and babies—if that’s going to happen—to cover everybody."

Toward the end of her speech, the comedian said that young people must celebrate who they are, even if it doesn't help them fit in with the crowd.

"The most important thing I want to say is just really embrace who you are because being unique is very, very important and fitting in is not all what matters," she said. "It’s being unique and being who you are."

She wrapped up her speech by paying tribute to her wife Portia de Rossi on their seven-year wedding anniversary.

What DeGeneres has done for the LGBT community

Two years ago, the Pew Research Center conducted two surveys and found DeGeneres was the face of LGBT in America. The comedian famously came out as gay nearly 20 years ago.


Earlier this summer, DeGeneres shared words of encouragement after popular Facebook page Humans Of New York posted a heartbreaking image of a sad, young boy alongside his quote, "I'm homosexual and I'm afraid about what my future will be and that people won't like me."

 

"I'm homosexual and I'm afraid about what my future will be and that people won't like me."

Posted by Humans of New York on Friday, July 3, 2015

 

DeGeneres commented on Facebook, "Not only will people like you, they'll love you. I just heard of you and I love you already."

Humans of NY

In 2010, after Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi committed suicide after his roommate threatened to broadcast his sexual activity with another man online, DeGeneres publicly addressed the tragedy on her show:


"I am devastated over the death of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi," she said at the time. "He was outed as being gay on the internet and he killed himself... One life lost in this senseless way is tragic."

Discussing Clementi's death and three other deaths of gay teens that same month, DeGeneres said, "This needs to be a wake up call to everyone that teenage bullying and teasing is an epidemic in this country, and the death rate is climbing. We have an obligation to change this."