And The Academy Award Goes To….
First of all, I’d like to thank Society for so strongly enforcing not only heterosexuality but also gender norms and roles. Society, you’ve imposed what’s “right” and what’s “wrong” on me since I was born, and I never could have pulled off ‘the role of a lifetime’ without you.
For 20 years I played the role of a straight female and did my best to fit into the molds you had made and expected me to fill. At the age of 20, I found I could no longer play this part and I came out as a lesbian. And let me tell you, it was NO easy feat.
For 30 years I played the role of a girl who became a woman who did her best to fit into the gender binary she was assigned and prescribed at birth. At the age of 30, I could no longer pretend to be something that I was not, and I came out not as female or male, but instead as Myself. And let me tell you, that was NO easy feat.
The money I’ve spent on hair, makeup and costumes is outrageous. The sheer number of hours I’ve spent rehearsing how I needed to act in public, the way I said my words and what words I needed to use, how I would respond when my scene partners asked me on whom I had a crush is unprecedented.
I’ve won this award today because I convinced you, Society, that I was a straight woman happily floating along. A woman happy to go along, carefree, doing the things that YOU, Society, wanted me, nay, required me to do to fit in. You had no idea about the Special Features, the ‘Behind-The-Scenes’ nights I spent crying into my pillow wishing the world was a more accepting and open place. And although I was crumbling on the inside, I never broke character and presented a strong front that convinced you I was okay and regular and “normal.” I made Society believe that I was comfortable living within the strict box that was actually suffocating every fiber of my being.
Now, as I stand here before you, still struggling to fully figure out who I am and where I fit in (or if I even want to fit in), I know I’m on the correct path of self-discovery. And that is why I actually can’t accept this award, Society. I refuse to continue to play other characters, and instead vow to only be myself. But, I couldn’t have done this without you. So, thank you for pushing me to explore all the different roles and the worlds that those roles belong in. Thank you for making me play parts that I knew weren’t right for me so I could start to figure out what is right for me. Without you pushing me, without you crushing me into the box I knew I could never really fit into, I never would have learned the tools I needed to become the person I am today and the person I will become tomorrow.