At the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday, Ellen DeGeneres offered an inspiring and emotional speech for LGBTQ youth. 

"I wanna say also it feels good to be chosen but there was a time in my life that I was not chosen," she said in her acceptance speech for Choice Comedian. "I was the opposite of chosen because I was different, and I think I wanna 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…The most important thing I wanna say is just really embrace who you are because being unique is very, very important and fitting in is not all that matters. It's being unique and being who you are."

DeGeneres made history over 18 years ago when she publicly came out in an episode of her TV show, Ellen.

Since then, she has broken down barriers, frequently sharing the lasting impact of coming out and publicly supporting and encouraging others to live openly and honestly. 

With a deck stacked against LGBTQ youth in America, role models like DeGeneres can help demonstrate resilience, happiness and success even in spite of continued challenges. 

Coming out -- whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or allied -- is a deeply personal journey for every individual. For more resources on coming out, visit HRC’s Coming Out Center


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