“Stay weird. Stay different”

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Last night I watched the Oscars. I usually don’t, and I have to say, they were a bit dull and disappointing. I expected better of Neil Patrick Harris as the host, but he does a much better job with the Tonys. I thought that the most elegant speech of the night was that of Julianne Moore for Best Actress. I think Moore is a classy lady and she showed just how classy the Oscars can be.

However, the best speech of that night was by Graham Moore. Moore won Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Imitation Game,” and he used the win to give a powerful speech about suicide awareness and depression.

“I tried to commit suicide at 16 and now I’m standing here,” he said. “I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage please pass the same message along.”

I was that weird and awkward kid when I was sixteen. I even tried to commit suicide, and I thank God each and every day that I was not successful. I may not have the life I’d expected to have, but it’s not over yet. There are many teenagers, especially gay teenagers, who have faced depression and attempted suicide. Sadly, far too many are successful. We have to make this world a better place so that teenagers who face depression and suicidal thoughts can understand that the world is a better place. The phrase “It gets better!” may be a bit cliche these days, but it really is true. It does get better.

On Saturday afternoon, I went to see “The Imitation Game.” If you’re not familiar with the movie, it is about the life and achievements of the late Alan Turing, the British mathematician and cryptanalyst who helped solve the Enigma code during World War II. After the war he was prosecuted for homosexuality in Britain and died by suicide in 1954 at 41 years old. I’ve written about Turing before on this blog, and this movie was a great movie. I honestly thought it deserved much more recognition than it received last night. If you haven’t seen it, I hope you will.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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