On February 8th, 2017, Evan Rachel Wood accepted the Visibility Award at the Human Rights Campaign's Gala in North Carolina. (For those who don't know, HRC is the largest national organization advocating for LGBTQ rights, check out their site linked below for more information). She took the opportunity to discuss her own experience as a bisexual woman and the importance and words and visibility.
TLDR; Her experiences growing up as a bisexual woman and what that means to her as an artist with such visibility. Believes that suffering connects us and will create empathy (very Westworld of her). Encourages everyone to keep fighting and expressing their truth.
Some bullet points:
- Begins by saying we are taught to respect fear and to silence ourselves to save ourselves.
- Explains briefly who Audre Lorde is and explains how she connected to her words without knowing yet that she was an amazing artist and activist.
- Discusses growing up in an expressive, diverse, artistic atmosphere and because of that she was never corrected in her traditionally masculine behaviors.
- Describes how puberty changed her physical reaction to women, prompting an epiphany that she has always thought women and men were beautiful.
- She then goes on to describe confusion and lonliness, and how it all began to make more sense when she finally heard the word, "bisexual."
- Compares acting and empathizing. This caused her to see how important visibility is to spread empathy, connection, and healing.
- Reading statistics on the HRC put out in June 2016, prompting her to connect those directly to her own experience to answer why. Shame, suffering. Emphasizes the need to empathize through these and connect.
- Says the response to her youtube video where she finally explained her experiences was amazing and in conjuction with the Orlando Shooting two days later, it reinforced to her how important words, our voices are.
- Quotes Nina Simone, "I choose to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself."
- This is what inspires her to continue her art and provide representation. "I choose to be seen so that we can connect.".
- Quotes E. E. Cummings, "To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting."
I definitely think it's worth the watch. What do you all think? She segues nicely.
HRC's Youtube Channel