Last night, screenwriter Graham Moore gave a deeply personal speech highlighting his own struggle with suicide and called on youth to “stay different.” 

“When I was 16-years-old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different. I felt like I did not belong and now I'm standing here,” he said. “And…so...I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes you do. I promise 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 to the next person who comes along."

Moore, who won Best Adapted Screenplay for "The Imitation Game," dedicated his award to the legacy of Alan Turing. “Here’s the thing…Alan Turing never got to stand on a stage like this and look out and stare on all these disconcertingly attractive faces. And I do. And that’s the most unfair thing, I think, I’ve ever heard. “ 

“The Imitation Game” tells the story of the late British cryptographer and computer scientist Alan Turing, who developed a method of cracking previously-unbreakable Nazi codes. Turing was also gay, and was arrested and prosecuted after he was caught in a same-sex relationship.  He was chemically castrated by his government and later committed suicide. 

Moore’s speech last night highlighted the pain and tribulations of youth, particularly LGBTQ youth.  The deck is stacked against young people growing up LGBTQ in America and the impact of family rejection, bullying, and daily concern for safety weighs heavily on our youth.  HRC’s groundbreaking report, Growing Up LGBT in America, found that 14 percent of LGBTQ reported depression and suicide as their biggest problem.

HRC was proud to honor the cast and crew of “The Imitation Game,” including Graham Moore, at HRC’s New York Gala Dinner last month. At the gala, Moore spoke about the legacy of Alan Turing and the “49,000 other gay men” who were victims of these cruel laws.

HRC congratulates Moore on his award and thanks him for taking a stand for LGBTQ youth. Watch Moore’s speech from the Oscar’s below. 

Filed under: Children & Youth, Community

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