Oscar nominated Canadian actress Ellen Page has come out as gay, declaring that hiding her sexuality has caused her years of suffering.
Page went public Friday night in Las Vegas during an emotional speech to the Time to Thrive conference, an LGBT youth event sponsored by the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.
The 26 year old Halifax native said she was "tired of lying by omission,'' and that her fear of coming out had caused her spirit, her mental health and her relationships all to suffer.
The audience stood and applauded when she told the conference "I'm here today because I'm gay, and maybe I can make a difference to help others have an easier and more hopeful time.''
Page said she felt she'd been put in a difficult position by a film industry that places "crushing standards'' on actors.
"Standards of beauty, of a good life, of success. Standards that I hate to admit, affected me,'' she said.
Page's speech was linked through her Facebook page and had received more than 28,500 likes, and nearly 3,000 comments and shares by mid-morning on Saturday. Many commenters praised Page for coming out with one suggesting that Page's speech should be "played at every high school in North America.''