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WATCH: Canadian actress Ellen Page comes out as gay

ABOVE: Watch Ellen Page’s speech at the HRCF’s Time to Thrive conference.

LAS VEGAS – Oscar nominated Canadian actress Ellen Page has come out as gay, declaring that hiding her sexuality has caused her years of suffering.

Page went public Friday night in Las Vegas during an emotional speech to the Time to Thrive conference — an LGBT youth event sponsored by the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.

“I’m here today because I am gay,” said Page according to a copy of her speech posted to the Human Right’s Campaign website. “And because… maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time.”

The 26-year-old Halifax native said she was “tired of lying by omission,” and that her fear of coming out had caused her spirit, her mental health and her relationships all to suffer.

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“Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility. I also do it selfishly, because I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission,” said Page.

The audience stood and applauded when she told the conference “I’m here today because I’m gay, and maybe I can make a difference to help others have an easier and more hopeful time.”

Page said she felt she’d been put in a difficult position by a film industry that places “crushing standards” on actors.

“Standards of beauty, of a good life, of success. Standards that I hate to admit, affected me,” she said.

Page’s sexuality was a poorly-kept secret within the industry and celebrity media for many years — and in Halifax, where Page still owns a home.

Still, last summer there were reports claiming Page was dating her The East co-star Alexander Skarsgard after director Zal Batmanglij tweeted photos of them together.

Us Weekly didn’t fall for it. “Despite internet speculation, multiple sources confirm … that the actors are not dating in real life. It’s also unclear when the picture in question was taken.”

The star of such hit movies as Juno, Inception and X-Men said that all people, regardless of their sexuality, “Deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise.”

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– with files by Global News